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Cologne criticise ‘inadequate’ Arsenal security measures

Last Updated: 15/09/17 6:35pm

Extra police were deployed at Emirates Stadium after fan disorder before kick-off

Cologne have criticised “inadequate” security measures at the Emirates after crowd issues in their Europa League tie with Arsenal.

UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage.1

Arsenal have already begun an investigation into the incidents, which led to five people being arrested following crowd disturbances. Arsenal have announced they are undertaking a full review into the events on Thursday, and said “the safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration”. Cologne have condemned the incidents, which saw the game kick off an hour late, but believe it would have been “sensible” for the German side to be given more than their 3,000-seat allocation, with another 17,000 of the club’s supporters understood to have made the trip to London. “Due to the enormous demand for tickets, it would have been sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the allocated five per cent of stadium capacity to the guest fans,” a Cologne statement read. “It was apparent that thousands of people from Cologne would seek to avoid the restrictions and get tickets in every way possible.

Arsene Wenger believes it would be ‘completely unfair’ for UEFA to punish Arsenal for the crowd violence which marred the win over Cologne

“One such way would be through the help of Arsenal supporters, who passed on their tickets to the FC fans . Some as gifts, but some also for horrendous prices.” Arsenal have acknowledged a number of away supporters had gained access to home sections “illegally, most likely via ticket touts”. The Premier League club also confirmed that anyone who became an Arsenal member after the UEFA Europa League draw would not have been eligible to buy tickets through their box office or ticket exchange services.

The safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration.

Arsenal statement

An Arsenal statement read: “Any tickets found that have been sold or purchased illegally will be traced back to the original purchaser who will have their membership cancelled and the appropriate action taken.

“We are satisfied that the joint decision to delay the match by one hour and play with a 9.05pmkick-offf was the best and safest option . This was the first time in 20 years of European competition we have had to take such an action . Ultimately the match passed off safely.”

Cologne insist they, along with Arsenal, urged fans to purchase tickets only through official channels, and although the club believe the match going ahead was the correct decision, they questioned the security measures in place. “Despite the tremendous experience of both the London security forces and Arsenal as a permanent partaker in European football, the organisers were unfortunately not adequately prepared for the task,” the statement continued. “In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

Cologne statement

“The most important common goal of having the match played on the same evening was achieved by allowing fans with valid tickets to quickly take their seats . This procedure proved to be the correct decision . Finally, the course of the match showed that the mixing of home and away fans did not constitute a safety risk for this match.” Cologne apologised to Arsenal for “a group of so-called disturbers” which they said “threatened, insulted, and even attacked stewards and police officers without cause”.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

September 17, 2017, 12:30pm

Live on Cologne Criticise 'inadequate' Arsenal Security Measures

However, the Bundesliga side remained adamant they were not responsible for this minority.

The statement continued: “These people are solely responsible for the fact that a football match with a special meaning for an entire region, as well as the courageous effort of our team on the pitch, had to be overshadowed by scenes that had nothing to do with sport and fair play.”

Arsenal are back in Premier League action this weekend as part of a Super Sunday double-bill .

Coverage of Chelsea v Arsenal begins at 12:30pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, followed by Manchester United v Everton.

References

  1. ^ UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage. (www.skysports.com)

Rhyl security guard who had to quit job after brutal stabbing finds new career after SIX year search

A former security guard who had to quit the industry after being stabbed three times has finally found a job after a six year search. Brian Edwards, 52, of Rhyl, was attacked by two men in 2009 while he was working as a site security guard at a retail site in Liverpool. His attackers left him with back and shoulder injuries – forcing him to quit work as he recovered and then pushing him out of security.

Brian Edwards finds job with Wynne Construction after six year search

He struggled to find a new career and was left out of work for several years.

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But he took on a work placement through the JobCentre and Wynne Construction – working voluntarily to prove his worth. Now Brian, who had worked as a plant operator for a civil engineering firm prior to switching roles to security work, is now in a full-time post as a construction operative, helping to refurbish Rhyl Pavilion. Talking about his attack, he said: It was 3am and I was with another security guard when we were attacked by two men.

Read More

I was stabbed three times, twice in the lower back and once in my shoulder.

I had to have surgery on the shoulder.

I recovered but I left security after that.

He struggled to find anything new but Wynne Construction spotted his potential during a work experience placement.

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He said: I live across the road from the Pavilion . I used to walk into town and look at it and think I would like to work on it.

When Wynne Construction s name came up at the JobCentre, I asked if I could apply for a work experience placement there.

Work on the new Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

The placements are voluntary and you are required to spend two weeks on them . I asked to stay on longer at the site.

Other guys said I was an idiot for working voluntarily . I disagreed and I m the one with the job now. Wynne Construction site manager Mark Wilson said: I saw Brian had potential . He is a good lad and keen to learn.

Brian proved himself keen to work and carry out the job to the best of his ability . He asked questions if he wasn t sure.

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He was relatively new to construction sites, but had a good attitude to health and safety.

It was clear that his work experience had been beneficial to Brian, and we valued his input into the on-going project so much that we offered him a contract to see the project through.

The company works with JobCentres close to its respective sites to offer work placements and give talks and mock interviews to candidates on the Work Experience programme. Wendy Harrison from Rhyl JobCentre said: We are delighted that we helped to facilitate this opportunity for Brian.

Brian has worked closely for many months with Jean from the Communities For Work Project to help him advance into work . Brian s dedication shone through and the results speak for themselves!

Brian added: Mark Wilson is the best manager you could ask for.

Germany’s cyber security chief on hacking, Russia and problems hiring experts

German Government Commissioner for Information Technology Klaus Vitt | German Federal Ministry of the Interior

Klaus Vitt discusses his role protecting Germany from cyber attacks.

By 1

3/20/17, 7:54 PM CET

Updated 3/20/17, 8:10 PM CET

This article is also available in: German2

Read more: Hacked information bomb under Germany s election3

BERLIN Meet the man in charge of protecting Europe s largest country against the ever-changing threat of hacking: the German government s IT commissioner, Klaus Vitt. During an interview with POLITICO at the German Interior Ministry, Vitt described the country s current cyber threat level as increasingly critical, announced plans to cooperate with private companies and explained why his analysts believe most professional hacking attacks on Germany come from Russia or China.

In September, Germany elects a new parliament . Could the vote be manipulated by cyber attacks?

We have analyzed all processes during election day . Wherever we found weak spots, we have introduced measures and taken precautions. In Germany, there are no electronic voting machines or automation .

The vote, therefore, is not that big of a target . However, there s never a security of 100 percent.

You re talking about potential attacks on the IT network on election night . Another issue is cyber attacks that could happen in the run-up to the election . People are concerned that stolen material from hacks could be used to compromise candidates . Do they have a reason to be afraid?

The danger is real . This is why our Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advises parliamentarians and their groups in the parliament how to protect themselves . It starts with using virus protection software on your private computer but certainly doesn t end there.

Have cyber attacks increased during the last couple of years?

Yes, the threat situation is becoming increasingly critical . We still observe many security breaches in software and hardware, as analyzed in the BSI s annual report on the state of IT security . This in itself is critical . At the same time, however, our society, economy and state are increasingly becoming more digitalized, which also makes them more vulnerable . On top of that, attackers are becoming more professional, and they are using more intelligent malware.

In 2015, a broad-scale cyber attack on the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, made headlines . What consequences did the government draw from the incident?

The Bundestag is in charge of its own IT security . However, there have been numerous consultations on how the parliament should make its network more secure, and the government took part in them . These recommendations were put into action very consistently . The network and its security components were completely rebuilt from scratch.

Could foreign intelligence services be involved in attacks like the one in 2015?

We are dealing with very professional attackers, that s why only in rare cases can you identify them indisputably . We analyze serious attacks very thoroughly to find out from where they originate . In order to do that, we take patterns from comparable attacks in the past as a reference . Based on such analogies, one can say with a certain probability where those attacks originate from and those analogies suggest that a majority of attacks comes from Russia or China, at least geographically.

How can Germany protect itself?

Attackers want to produce the largest effect possible . That s why they target their attacks primarily against critical infrastructure.

With Germany s IT security law introduced in 2015, we have created legislation that focuses on such infrastructures . On the one hand, it introduces minimum standards for IT security: how operators need to protect themselves against cyber attacks . There are regular checks to make sure they still follow those standards . On the other hand, they are obliged to inform authorities about any critical IT security incidents . If operators are affected, they need to alert the BSI about it, which in turn can analyze it, assess the threat and inform other operators as fast as possible so that they can protect themselves in time. I would like to apply a similar model to other companies which are not operating critical infrastructure and the public administration.

In November 2016, Germany introduced a cyber security strategy: a plan for the country on how to protect itself and how to best react to cyber attacks. What about attacks that have already happened and data that may have been taken?

A cyber attack can have different goals . One aim can be to extract information . If you have no possibility to prevent this, you need to cut off access to the internet . This was one of the measures taken during the cyber attack on the Bundestag . From this moment on, no more information can be extracted. However, in the aftermath, it s difficult to detect where malware could possibly have had access to and which data has been extracted.

What measures are you taking?

To guarantee an appropriate IT security level, we will consolidate the data centers and the networks of the national government and its institutions. Today, we have around 1,000 rooms with servers: large ones, medium-sized ones, small ones . We will centralize them at three or four highly-protected, locations . The same thing will be done with the networks . This is how we will protect the administration with a high standard of IT security.

Another measure is expanding our Cyber Defense Center opened in 2011 . The goal is to always have a clear description of what s happening in cyber space . To do that, we will analyze and assess cyber incidents, with all national security agencies exchanging technical information about the incidents with each other . Needless to say, cyber space is not limited to just Germany. And there s another plan we are pursuing: In Germany, we have large international companies with their own cyber security units, who observe cyber attacks, similarly to what our Cyber Defense Center does .

Four DAX companies have joined forces in the so-called German Cybersecurity Organization (DCSO) cooperation . Our idea is to work with them through exchanging technical information . However, we need a contractual basis for that . This is about highly sensitive data.

When in 2015, a Bundestag subcommittee met to discuss the hacking attack, a BSI official told the MPs that only around 15 employees inside his office had the expertise to analyze and deal with such an attack . This doesn t sound like a lot of people?

The BSI is only one unit in our Cyber Defense Center . We have more experts in the Federal Criminal Police, in the Armed Forces, and in both our domestic and the foreign intelligence agencies.

Talking about personnel: Part of the cyber security strategy is hiring more cyber security experts . How easy or difficult is it to find candidates with the necessary expertise?

There is a great demand for IT security experts . The BSI has hired several people recently . It wasn t easy to fill those positions placing an ad in some newspaper wouldn t be enough .

All those positions could be filled; in the meantime, however, we have new open positions.

How attractive a job is, however, is not only defined by its salary but also by how exciting or dynamic its environment is and by its compatibility with having a family.

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Related stories on these topics:

References

  1. ^ (www.politico.eu)
  2. ^ German (www.politico.eu)
  3. ^ Hacked information bomb under Germany s election (www.politico.eu)