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Security: Conspicuous in its Absence

The recent incident, whereby Orlando Pirates fans hurled fireworks at the Supersport goalkeeper, raised some interesting questions. Firstly, how were fans allowed to bring (illegal) fireworks into the stadium? The second question is how well-prepared are security personnel, in general, for anything untoward? Lastly, of course, why do people support this team, when they could support Chiefs instead?

Regarding security, I cannot vouch for the alertness of even airport security personnel. Flying regularly, I am grateful that it is only a small minority of people that have the urge to take out others – and themselves – in the air. When it comes to security, proactive responses are surely the best. Security officers patrolling an area – on foot or in a vehicle – are a presence that averts opportunistic crime and responds quickly to hardened criminals – those with iron will.

I laugh when I consider what security means in most organisations. Mostly, it means that there is a sign-in procedure. In all honesty, I hope this is to account for guests, in the event of a fire. A multi-national organisation I have worked with checks vehicles for bombs – with a mirror under the vehicle  – at entrance 1. At entrance two, the log book doesn’t even have space for a car registration number, there is no “holding area” for a vehicle to wait upon entering and I am tired of signing in as Hugh Masekela, F.W. De Kkerk or Rebecca Molope without so much as a glance.

It is time that organisations – including stadium security – take a long hard look at their practices, audit their sites through “mystery shoppers” and do the things that actually avert crime or potential injury. I can guarantee that regular training on potential threats, alertness and a sense of urgency will go a long way towards providing real security, instead the current false peace-of-mind.

Perhaps then we will be able to endure a home football match loss with dignity, instead of amnesty.

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