Access All Areas October 2019 - Page 42

OCTOBER | SECTOR FOCUS help streamline the invoice and payment process with clients. “Advances in CCTV are improving abilities to monitor large crowds in a more efficient way, also front of house ticket scanners and attendance software has helped to increase the speed customers can be allowed into the venues which reduces queue management needs.” Similar forward thinking has been demonstrated by Stadium Group’s managing director David McAtamney who says technology is something the company invests in heavily, with vehicle mitigation being a current focus. “Anywhere we engage with large crowds we seek to protect them as best we can, and vehicle attacks sadly are a chosen weapon we must address, and we have solutions to do that. This is a British innovation that we are trying to encourage more of in Europe. Because of our history with terror, we are world leaders in prevention, and I’m looking to export our expertise and equipment.” In order to do this, the three-year-old uncertainty of Brexit is once again discussed. “Along with most businesses, the real fear is the indecision. With no firm conclusions still, we’re unable to plan ahead and there’s a real uncertainty. We’re no nearer and end point, unless that’s a no deal. 42 Clarification would help us make decisions and strategies,” says McAtamney. Other technologies Stadium is exploring is facial recognition. “We currently also use high definition CCTV, which is particularly useful in our space. There’s controversy over facial recognition which has benefits in certain situations, but there’s concerns from the public. In my view it shouldn’t be a worry if you’re going about your normal business. It’s a big thing that’s on everyone’s radar. It is something that as a democracy we must consider. There’s a balance between safeguarding life and civil liberties. There’s a relentless march forward in technology so a robust discussion is needed.” Meanwhile, the challenges for security in many ways remain static. “We face similar challenges at mass events, where there’s 60,000 plus people. This involves getting people parking where they want, keeping people safe, and helping vulnerable people. It’s good to see better access for wheelchairs at events and we often help with this. I think that’s a massive plus as inclusivity is vital.”