The otherwise joyful occasion that was the Euro 2020 Wembley final between England and Italy (well, at least until penalties, that is) is one that will go down in history as an event that showed off both the very best and the very worst of Britain.
Of course, for the former, we have the incredible performances of our team and their manager, who couldn’t have been more of a gentleman throughout the entire tournament. For the latter, we have not only the horrendous abuse being levelled at the players who were unfortunate enough to miss their penalties but the security calamity that befell Wembley in the moments before the match.
Thousands of fans illegally stormed Wembley without a ticket and actually managed to get in as the perimeter was almost completely overwhelmed. According to Jane Connors, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police: “Soon after gates opened, the stewarding and outer security perimeter became overwhelmed and fans began pushing through security checks.” This resulted in 51 arrests across London and hundreds of shameful YouTube videos.
But why did the security fail so spectacularly that day and what can we learn from it?
Always have fail-safes in place
After the incident, everyone was quick to cast blame. Many blamed the Metropolitan police force and many more blamed the stewards. But if there were more fail-safe operations in place, the security would have never fallen in the first place. The more security checks you have in place, the more steps potential criminals have to get through to make it through.
More doesn’t always mean better
In the build-up to the big match, Wembley beefed up security after there were similarly dour scenes at the semi-final match. But despite hiring significantly more stewards, the gates were still breached and chaos still ensued. Indeed, it could be argued that the sheer amount of stewards actually made the breach even more chaotic and more problematic. The takeaway here is that sometimes, too much manpower is not necessarily a good thing.
Plug the gaps in your perimeter
Perimeter gaps are always an issue for those who are not looking carefully enough and it only takes only a small gap to let in a flood. One teenage TikTok personality made a mockery of the Wembley security measures by filming himself sneaking in through one such hole in the fences surrounding the stadium.
Don’t skimp on CCTV
While it might not be possible to implement state-of-the-art access controls for a football stadium that will be seeing 60,000 people coming through its doors in a single afternoon, CCTV would certainly have helped identify some of the culprits. Indeed, while 51 arrests were made, there were many hundreds more who were part of the storming who were unable to be identified because there simply were not enough cameras on the ground. Granted there were thousands of mobile phones recording the incident, but it’s unlikely that will be the case in your office.
If the Euro 2020 final has made you re-evaluate your security offerings, Lee Security offers competitive rates to reduce your upfront cost, so you don’t have to compromise on your customers’ safety. Speak to our security experts today for more information.