South Yorkshire football fans urged to help in fight against terrorism

Football fans have been urged to play their part in the fight against terrorism
Football fans have been urged to play their part in the fight against terrorism

Football fans in South Yorkshire are being urged to play their part in the fight against terrorism - by reporting suspicious activity at games.

Football clubs have been working with police forces across the country to review security arrangements at their stadiums and now counter terrorism officers are urging fans to play their part on match days by reporting any suspicions to stewards or police officers.

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While there is no specific threat to football grounds, the 'Know the Game Plan' scheme is part of a wider police plan to work more closely with different sectors such as retail, hospitality and entertainment to help protect the public.

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Nearly a quarter of a million sports event stewards have been issued with a short guide giving key advice around helping to protect crowds of spectators.

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National Coordinator for Protective Security, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth said: "The chance of being caught up in a terrorist attack is low but we want the public to feel confident to come forward and report any concerns if they see something suspicious to match day staff or police.

"The more clubs encourage supporters to do this, the more likely they are to act on their instincts and not worry they might be mistaken or wasting time.

"Most concerns will turn out to be nothing and that’s absolutely fine. It’s far better to say something than risk an important piece of information being missed.

"Our mantra is Action Counters Terrorism. If you see something, don’t hesitate to ACT."

Bob Eastwood, Security and Operations Adviser for the English Football League added: "Getting supporters to think about security is just part of the work football has been doing in partnership with the police.

"Over the last 12 months we have held many events all over the country so counter-terrorism officers and stadium security managers can share their knowledge and do all we can to stay a step ahead.

"The safety of all fans is football’s number one priority and we all have a role to play in doing everything we can to keep each other safe - police, officials and supporters."

Fans are being urged to arrive at games early to allow more time for security checks and to minimise what they carry into stadiums.

Supporters have also been asked to be vigilant at all times and to contact a steward or police officer if concerned.

The advice also urges fans to dial 999 if they see anything which could pose an immediate threat to safety.