In some contexts, the terms “safety” and “security” are used interchangeably; however, they each have a distinct meaning. In the context of stadium operations, and in particular safety and security operations, it is important to understand the differences between the two.
Safety means being protected from all aspects that can cause harm, be they accidental or intentional. It relates to the protection of people from being injured or facing a risk to their health and well-being during sports events. Safety concerns the physical infrastructure of the stadium, the operation of the stadium, the mitigation of any potential hazards, and the behaviour of the crowd inside and outside the stadium.
Security means the protection of the stadium building, stadium staff, players, match officials and spectators from external threats and misbehaviour. Security therefore focuses on identifying these risk factors and putting measures in place to deter, prevent and sanction any such incidents. Terrorism is an extreme example of an external and intentional threat to the stadium building and people.
The third element in an integrated safety and security approach is service, which comprises all measures designed to make football and other sport events enjoyable and welcoming for all. Safety and security are in principle a frontline (customer-facing) service, and often stewards and security personnel are the first or only members of staff with whom spectators will interact. It follows that service should be the visible element of the integrated safety, security and service approach, as shown in Figure 4.7.1.