1. Policy Statement

1.1 This Spectator Safety Policy is compliant with the requirements and principles of The Equality Act 2010, particularly in respect of Part 7, dealing with ‘associations’ and membership.

1.2 It also complements, and operates in conjunction with, Information Sharing Agreements held between Middlesbrough Football Club and the Police, Football Authorities and other Football Clubs and relevant venues and in compliance with GDPR.

1.3 This Policy will be applied fairly, equally, and consistently to all persons, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or any other unjustifiable grounds.

2. Purpose

2.1 Middlesbrough Football Club requires a clear and concise Spectator Safety Policy to demonstrate the Club’s responsibilities for a ‘Specified Activity’, to clarify where lines of accountability exist and to outline the operational arrangements in place.

2.2 A ‘Specified Activity’ is an activity authorised by the General Safety Certificate to be held at The Riverside Stadium.

3. Underpinning Procedures

Allocation of Responsibilities

3.1 The Chairman and Chief Executive of Middlesbrough Football Club undertake to ensure that all the activities that take place at Riverside Stadium, for which they are responsible, are conducted in such a way that the safety of every person at the stadium is maximised.

3.2 Overall Executive responsibility for Spectator Safety remains with the Chief Executive.

3.3 Operational responsibility for Spectator Safety is held by the Chief Operating Officer.

3.4 The Club's operational delivery of this responsibility is managed through the Club Safety Officer, deputy and officials, staff and stewards who will be trained, qualified as appropriate, briefed and deployed in such a manner as to ensure the safety of those attending the stadium for a ‘Specified Activity’. There is a duty upon all employees to ensure that the Spectator Safety Policy is fully adhered to at all times.

3.5 Safety policy is reviewed at regular intervals by the Club Safety Officer, and at least on an annual basis.

Arrangements for Monitoring Policy

3.6 The following methods are used to monitor the Spectator Safety Policy.

a) Daily basis:

  • Information on stadium safety issues are reported on a daily basis through contractors or Club staff to the Facilities Manager. Any remedial action is actioned in accordance with the assessed level of priority.

b) Match Day:

  • Pre-match & event site checks are conducted by Club employees and supervisors, with any associated reports being submitted to the Club Safety Officer;
  • Pre-match & event site searches and visual examinations are made by stewards and supervisors before the ground is opened to the public;
  • Constant surveillance of the facility is conducted throughout the event and any identified issues are immediately reported through landlines or radio to the Stadium Control Room;
  • Post-match & event site searches are conducted by stewards and supervisors, with any identified deficiencies being reported to the Club Safety Officer for the attention of the Facilities Manager;
  • A full debrief of all steward Area Supervisors is conducted by the Club Safety Officer;
  • Comprehensive post-event reports are compiled by each steward supervisor and submitted for the attention of the Club Safety Officer.

c) Periodic Independent Monitoring:

  • A delegation appointed by the Safety Advisory Group enters the stadium on an annual basis to examine the site against the Club’s Safety Certificate, and reports its findings and recommendations to the Club Safety Officer;
  • The Safety Advisory Group will commission an individual event report on a regular and unannounced basis. The findings will be communicated to the Safety Advisory Group members and any recommendations discussed and actioned;
  • The Sports Group Safety Authority will conduct periodic assessments against the Club’s discharge of its responsibilities towards spectator safety and, where appropriate, will produce a written report with accompanying recommendations for the attention of the Club Safety Officer.

Crowd Management

Entry and exit of spectators to the stadium:

3.7 The means of ingress and the gangways within the stadium are at all times kept unobstructed whilst spectators are within the stadium for a ‘Specified Activity’;

3.8 All floor surfaces and steps throughout the stadium, which are available for use by spectators, are kept unobstructed, unrestricted and free from trip hazards;

3.9 The entrances to, and exits from, the stadium, and the means of access to those entrances and exits, are as specified in the plan which forms part of the Safety Certificate;

3.10 Middlesbrough Football Club shall ensure that during the performance of a ‘Specified Activity’, spectators are not permitted to stand in a gangway for the purpose of viewing that activity;

3.11 No vehicles may be left within the stadium complex, except in specifically designated and marked locations;

3.12 No equipment, goods or mobile sales staff shall be positioned during a ‘Specified Activity’ so as to obstruct any exit route;

3.13 Middlesbrough Football Club shall arrange for the flow rate of each turnstile to be measured and thereafter for periodic tests to be made to ensure that the anticipated rate of flow is achieved. Flow rates should be reviewed whenever admission arrangements are amended. Details of the reviews will be recorded and any variation in flow rates notified, in writing, to the council.

Management of spectators in the stadium:

3.14 Trained stewards and supervisors who are placed strategically throughout the stadium will carefully monitor all spectators whilst they are present inside the stadium.

3.15 The Stewarding Plan for each event outlines the specific steward deployment locations.

Co-ordination with other Agencies

3.16 At least 28 days before the ‘Specified Activity’ takes place, the Local Authority, Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance service will be notified in writing of the ‘Specified Activity’.

3.17 Either the Club Safety Officer or Deputy will attend any pre-match briefings to all partner agencies. Information will be gathered from all sources and disseminated.

3.18 The Club Safety Officer or Deputy will Chair any required match-day briefings to all agencies and ensure post-match feedback is carried out.

Police

3.19 Middlesbrough Football Club shall arrange for the attendance at a ‘Specified Activity’ of as many Police Officers within the stadium as the Club and Police consider adequate to secure safe, orderly and decent behaviour within the stadium.

3.20 The General Safety Certificate gives discretion to the Police to vary the mandatory positions of stewards in the event of potential or actual public disorder.

Fire

3.21 Any item of a flammable, explosive, toxic or corrosive nature held within the stadium, together with its dispensing apparatus, is securely stored in locked areas clearly marked with warning signs and labels, and subject to a risk assessment. Only the minimum quantity required for frequently occurring activities or that required for use during one shift is ever present on the stadium site. Middlesbrough Football Club do not permit the storage of such items in such quantities that they require specific permits or authorities.

3.22 Middlesbrough Football Club shall at times maintain the stadium in a clean condition and not permit any accumulations of rubbish or any other materials, whether combustible or not. All receptacles provided for this purpose are made of non-combustible materials.

3.23 Middlesbrough Football Club will arrange with Cleveland Fire Brigade for the training of all stewards in the procedures of fire-fighting, use of equipment and general fire prevention.

3.24 Clear notices giving instructions for action in case of fire are provided in such positions as recommended by Cleveland Fire Brigade and are printed in the Stewards’ Handbook.

3.25 Fire-fighting equipment and locations will be found in the General & Special Safety Certificate.

Medical Services

3.26 Middlesbrough Football Club shall ensure, to the satisfaction of the Safety Advisory Group, the provision and maintenance at the stadium of a suitably equipped First Aid Room.

3.27 The Club shall also arrange for the attendance of such number of qualified First Aid Attendants as its Medical Plan determines and as may be required by the Safety Advisory Group. There will be a minimum of 2 First Aid Attendants at any ‘Specified Activity’.

3.28 The Attendants' duties shall only relate to the administering of First Aid and they should be located as prescribed within the Safety Certificate. First Aid Attendants shall be present at the stadium two hours prior to the start of the event and remain at the stadium until the public have egressed at the end of the event.

3.29 First Aid Rooms should have heating, lighting, emergency lighting, ventilation, hot/cold running water, electric sockets and telephone allowing internal and external communication. The First Aid Room should be sign-posted throughout the stadium and in such a position that is accessible to spectators, staff and stewards, along with ready access for emergency vehicles.

3.30 Middlesbrough Football Club shall ensure that the equipment and medical supplies within the First Aid Room are available for use at all time during a ‘Specified Activity’.

3.31 Middlesbrough Football Club shall employ one Medical Practitioner (in addition to any medical practitioner employed to treat players) to be present at each ‘Specified Activity’ and available to deal with any medical exigency at the stadium.

3.32 He/she shall be trained and competent in advanced First Aid. He/she shall be present at the stadium before the public are admitted and at least one and a half hours before commencement of the ‘Specified Activity’ and must remain until half-an-hour after the end of the ‘Specified Activity’. The Medical Practitioner must be immediately contactable and his/her whereabouts known to Stadium Control Room.

3.33 Middlesbrough Football Club shall arrange with the appropriate Ambulance Service for the attendance of at least one Paramedic crew and one fully equipped Paramedic ambulance, along with the attendance of an Ambulance Officer at a ‘Specified Activity’ where between 5,000 and full capacity spectators are expected.

Contingency Plans

3.34 In conjunction with the Safety Advisory Group, Middlesbrough Football Club will develop contingency plans to deal with all foreseeable emergencies. These plans will identify appropriate individuals together with their respective tasks and will include precautions against electrical or mechanical failure.

Maintaining of Records

3.35 All documentation in respect of safety and duty of care will be maintained by Middlesbrough Football Club and made available for inspection by the Safety Advisory Group for a minimum period of six years.

4. Version Control

4.1 This policy will be reviewed and updated at least annually by the owner, and more frequently if necessary.

4.2 The Chief Operating Officer will ensure this document is available on the Club intranet, including any interim updates.

4.3 The following identifies all version changes.