In the wake of the Dortmund bus attack3, security has been stepped up at football grounds across Europe. But the contractor was filmed by one pundit making only the most token of efforts to search fans prior to their entry into White Hart Lane. After the video was posted to Twitter, Spurs quickly responded with a statement that revealed the steward in question was actually a contractor and not a direct employee of the club’s.
The steward appears to search fans without touching them before they enter the stadium (Photo: Twitter/Mr_CallumWright) Security steward at Tottenham appears to search fans without touching them before they enter the stadium (Photo: Twitter/Mr_CallumWright)
“The contractor has apologised and we’ve taken action accordingly,” said the club.
There was a fierce backlash against the steward, who was accused of a serious lack of ‘professionalism’ and ‘laziness’ in the manner with which he carried out his duties. However, many also criticised the original poster of the video, suggesting he should have contacted the club in a more private manner. Security around football matches has been back in the spotlight following the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus that ocurred on April 12th, ahead of their Champions League clash with Monaco, which was subsequently postponed by 24 hours.
Security has been back in the spotlight following April 12th’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus (Photo: AFP) That attack left defender Marc Bartra in hospital with a broken wrist (Photo: Instagram/marcbartra)
While no one was seriously harmed in the incident, it did leave defender Marc Bartra in hospital with a broken wrist.
German investigators are currently investigating several lines of inquiry, with numerous far right extremist groups taking responsibility for the attack.
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In the context of heightened terror threat in the last few weeks and football coming directly in the firing line when the Borussia Dortmund team bus was attacked six days ago, fans can have few complaints with greater security outside stadiums to ensure their protection.
Manchester City were recently criticised after increased security measures at the Etihad Stadium have left fans queuing outside on numerous occasions, but the price to pay for safety can never be too much.
And it is because of that video footage of a security guard conducting what can only be described as less than thorough searches on people outside White Hart Lane before Tottenham’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth has gone viral.
In the video posted online by Twitter user Colin Rowland that has been retweeted by 8,800 others at the time of writing, a guard is seen barely even making contact with numerous fans as he conducts a very brief version of the usual pat down procedure.
That’s not to suggest there should be rigorous and invasive frisking of every supporter who enters every football stadium, but it would have incredibly easy for any one of those people to conceal a dangerous item and smuggle it into the stadium.
In a world where literally anyone could be a terrorist wishing to inflict damage and hurt on their fellow humans, it would be comforting to know that security and safety is being taken as seriously as possible.
For most people, a job is just a job to get done, get through, so you can get on with your life.
It should not be like that for security . Not at football stadiums . Not today. We’ve seen this in plenty of places: those responsible for making sure no-one takes anything they’re not supposed to into a ground offering the most laissez-faire approach to frisking. Even as a journalist, when you’re carrying a bag absolutely ram-packed with a laptop, chargers, microphones, notes, food and then you have all that covered with more clothes you’ve stored for extra layers, you barely get checked .
You might get asked to open your bag and you’ll half-way do that for one part of it and show the clothes and explain it’s just a laptop and stuff beneath and that’s usually enough to get you on through.
The security in some places operates on blind faith because what they’re really asking you when they ask to see your bag is basically just for an alibi if their boss accuses them of otherwise . They’re not performing these checks to really maintain safety – or because it’s important . In some cases, they’re just doing it out of obligation, because it’s on their job descriptions. It’s a task that needs done and a box that needs ticked. Most people would do anything to avoid a fuss, never mind a confrontation so we’re in serious danger that some elements of security have slacked just to make things a little more convenient.
At White Hart Lane on Saturday, when Tottenham Hotspur welcomed Bournemouth, some footage captured outside the ground was a real eye-opener. The security checks were minimal to say the least . Two fingers grazing the top of the sleeve, a quick pat on the ribs, away you go .
Sometimes neither the sleeve nor the ribs were even felt. Basically just an open, welcome invitation. But Tottenham Hotspur have since responded on the matter.
“We’ve been made aware of the footage, the contractor has apologised and we have taken appropriate action as a result,” the club said.
Still, the matter that split opinion. It should be remembered that this job directly affects the safety of thousands of people so perhaps being lenient isn’t the best standard. We’re not going to church after all.