The Football Safety Officers Association was formed almost twenty years ago to provide a positive environment for safety officers to share good practice and develop safety standards within football stadia. The Association achieves this by promoting best safety and crowd management practices, enhancing the role of security personnel, stewards, supervisors and management and continually developing the expertise of safety officers.
John Newsham, FSOA Chairman says:
“As Chairman of the Football Safety Officers Association I am delighted to have been able to forge this alliance with Showsec which I know will reap tremendous rewards and benefits for Showsec and our Association. Many of our members have built local relationships in utilising the very professional services of such a well known and respected company as Showsec. We now have the opportunity to expand that even further at both national and local levels.
“Showsec has over the years developed so much skill and expertise in managing safety and security at so many venues and events both nationally and internationally. In forging this alliance with Showec I hope that we will be able learn from each other in developing crowd care, safety and security management and practices particularly in engaging with Showsec’s e-learning portal.
“This long term partnership means that our Association will now be able to continue the development programme which I have started. I know that I will now also be able to utilise the professional skills of Showsec in furthering that development programme. In this regard I see our partnership as strengthening both our organisations and this can only benefit the world of crowd safety and security whatever the venue or the event.”
FSOA President, Jim Chalmers adds:
“Having been involved in the development of crowd safety management since 1991 in both a regulatory and practitioner perspective I have watched with admiration and respect how Showsec has developed into such a respected and prestigious company providing such a high quality of safety and security management at so many venues and at so many events. I have witnessed at first hand their high quality of service delivery whether this is in planning for the event or the provision of well trained and qualified personnel to manage the event whatever or wherever it is being staged.
“It has been said that one of the underlying factors of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster was that the needs of safety and security were out of balance. This alliance between our Association and Showsec will mean that both our organisations can pool knowledge and resources to ensure that such a fundamental issue in customer care, safety and security at any crowd related event can never occur in the future.
“Our Association needs funds to continue the development programme started by our current Chairman and this funding by Showsec means that our further development programme is assured. I am therefore delighted that such a major player in the private security sector recognizes the value of our Association and the services our membership provide which are identical to the services delivered by Showsec namely the care, safety and security of the millions of people who visit so many crowd related events week in and week out. I believe we have so much to offer each other and that is why this alliance can be nothing but beneficial in the growth of Showsec and the FSOA and the services we both provide.”
Showsec has decades of experience supplying security and stewarding personnel to football grounds at all levels across the UK. Clients include Manchester City, new partners Alfreton Town and the long standing relationship with Leeds United. Ever mindful of the commercial demands of the clubs, the company also brings expertise and contacts gained from its security capabilities at many other types of events. These include major concerts within stadia from Live Aid to U2 to Take That to Help for Heroes, public events such as charity marathons, Papal visits to City carnivals, corporate and VIP security, player security, along with conferences and exhibitions.
Showsec’s consistent focus on public safety has led to the company being recognised as a pioneer in many areas, notably in the company’s training and development programmes, which underpin the continuous development of staff and services offered to clients. This year’s highest SIA ACS industry accreditation assessment score reflects the high standards achieved, and these support services are ever changing to reflect the needs of clients.
Managing Director Mark Harding comments:
“Our focus is on supporting safety officers by building a long-term dialogue and relationships with the highly esteemed and professional members of the FSOA. We hope that both parties can develop meaningful dialogue to take crowd safety techniques to a new level, relevant to creating safe environments within football stadia for all kinds of events.”
“This long term agreement also means both parties can engage in a united approach to both football and event crowd management training. We have recently launched Showsec’s E-learning portal with over 2,500 modules now successfully completed. This forms part of the blended learning process and is supported by creative workshops, where safety personnel can gain knowledge about crowd behaviour at football matches as well as events outside football. This new educational model will provide a time and cost effective regionalised service to meet the needs of individual clubs.”
Mark Harding was joined at the conference by Alan Wallace, Showsec Northern Area Manager. Alan states:
“We have already had some very productive conversations with the FSOA, and there is a clear synergy in our priority to focus on the continued improvement of public safety at football grounds.
“Alongside this we are seeing the economic requirement for many stadia to generate income through different strands of business, such as conferences, corporate and music events. Our experience in these areas means that we can offer consultation, expertise and act as once source of support to clients in different spheres of business.”