There has always been an element of disorder and bad behaviour at sporting events. When you have large crowds in relatively small spaces it is inevitable that some issues and incidents will occur. However, in recent months there has been an increasing body of evidence and media comment about the increase in hate crime and anti-social behaviour in sport. And this is particularly the case in football.
Hate crime is defined as ‘a crime, typically one involving violence, that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or similar grounds,’ But abuse and anti-social behaviour can take many forms, from blatant racial abuse to sports people and their families being targeted on social media. Whatever form it takes, hate crime can have a profound effect on victims and authorities in the UK are looking to stiffen penalties and focus more resources on identifying perpetrators.
Anti-social behaviour is on the rise
Anti-social behaviour at football matches has also been on the rise over the last 12 months with reported incidents of disorder at matches in England and Wales up by 60 per cent compared to the last full season before COVID. Violence and abuse are on the rise but so is an increase in drugs use, pyrotechnics, missile-throwing, pitch invasions and arrests. Incidents were reported at 1,609 of the 3,019 matches played in England and Wales over the course of last season (53%). There were 441 matches where pitch invasions were reported last season, up by a staggering 127 per cent on the 2018/19 campaign. And there were 384 matches where a hate crime incident was reported, an increase of 99%.
In an attempt to stem this trend the Premier League recently announced a minimum one-year ban in the UK from home and away matches for any fan guilty of entering the pitch or carrying or using pyrotechnics. But this is unlikely to have a big impact in the short to medium term. Therefore, stadium owners and operators need to find a way to mitigate and manage incidents, and this is where the use of technology can come into its own.
VenuePro can provide the solution
VenuePro is an innovative and highly customisable cloud based global technology platform that simplifies the day to day operation of stadiums, arenas and venues of all sizes to drive operational efficiency and help deliver world class experiences for guests.
One of VenuePro’s most popular features is the Incident Management Investigations Module, which not only ensures all incidents are fully tracked, managed and reported on but the data secured can provide valuable intelligence to police and the football authorities to ensure the guilty parties are identified and lead to a successful prosecution.
This powerful module makes it quicker and easier to respond, monitor, track and report on any incidence of anti-social behaviour, violence or hate crime. Once an incident is reported and logged on the VenuePro platform the data is secure and it can be escalated to the relevant stakeholders and authorities, or assigned to a specific investigation officer.
Once assigned the incident details will only be accessible to the investigating officers until the investigation has been fully completed and the case closed. The reporting person and investigating officers can fill in all of the details of the incident and resulting investigation, including the root cause analysis report and the resulting action taken.
If offending fans or individuals end up being barred from entry into the venue then this information can be captured in the App along with the date they are barred until. If they try to re-enter the venue during the stipulated time frame then officials will be alerted and notified.
Venues can then work together and if given permission by the police and relevant authorities they could share details and information which would be a powerful weapon in the fight against anti-social behaviour and hate crime.
Find out how VenuePro can assist your venue or event operation in mitigating and managing hate crime by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org