Interpol Stadia project: providing security for great sporting events

The major international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup competitions, set many police and security-related challenges for host countries.

Apart from taking place in large, complex and scattered venues, these events can attract a range of criminal activities, from skirmishes and violence to cyber attacks and even terrorism.

With its global network of experts, Interpol is in an ideal position to serve as a central core to provide research, design, planning, coordination and training to address this challenge, within a structure that ensures certain standards of quality.

The Stadia project was founded by Interpol in 2012 and financed by Qatar, with the aim of creating a centre of excellence to help Interpol member states to plan and execute security preparation measures for major sporting events.

By combining good practices and lessons learned by member countries that have hosted major international sports events, the project can help future hosts to improve preparation measures thanks to the latest knowledge and experience.

The Stadia project organises annual meetings of experts about key issues concerning legislation, physical security and cybernetic security.

These meetings gather together police experts from all over the world, events organisation committees, government, the private sector, the academy and civil society to explore cutting-edge research and analysis and develop independent recommendations to plan and execute security arrangements for major international sporting events.

All countries that host an important sporting event want to avoid problems and be successful. Every event offers many valuable lessons, not only for the host, but also for anyone wishing to host important events in the future.

To gather good practices and lessons learned before, during and after major international sports events, the Stadia project carries out observation programmes and debates with experts from the security field, both within the public sector and the private one, that have direct responsibilities in surveillance and security operations.

The Stadia project works with recognised academic institutions to identify training needs and develop training study plans, along with a programme with international accreditation.

The accumulated learning based on a range of activities previously described is consolidated and is shared among countries that are members of Interpol via a system of knowledge based on a latest generation website with two components:

  • A broad repository of knowledge of good practice in all aspects of security of the sporting event, to which all member countries can contribute and all of which can benefit from.
  • An online collaboration platform where experts in the field can share, debate, analyse and publish information about evolutionary aspects of sports-related security regarding important events.

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