Director Rod Taylor gave fans an update on the club's security operations in Friday's programme against Accrington Stanley. Here is the article....
A thread on the message board forum, ShrimpsVoices, entitled, "Shrimp Banning Order", was brought to my attention this week following an article in the local press which reported a total Football Banning Order for a Morecambe supporter. Some of the content of that thread verges on the ridiculous and I feel compelled to let you, the true Morecambe supporters, know some facts.
The incident that led to this Banning Order took place outside the ground following the home game against AFC Wimbledon. The police witnessed the actions of the youth on the day, arrested him and followed their protocols to bring this case to court. The club did not bring the case nor issue the Banning Order.
This season we have been blighted by a few so called fans both at home and on our travels who seem intent on damaging the friendly reputation of Morecambe Football Club by their irresponsible actions and deeds both inside and outside stadia. Senior members of the Safety Team have taken the time to talk to this group on an individual basis in a friendly, non-confrontational way and have subsequently had to warn some individuals of the consequences of their actions.
Following unacceptable behaviour, we have issued a club lifetime ban to one person this season. As a club we have a duty of care to everyone in the stadium on a matchday, whether that be a participant in the game or a paying spectator. It is a criminal offence for a spectator to encroach onto the pitch as we have to protect the safety of the players and officials at all times. Likewise we have to ensure the well-being of spectators and this club has an excellent record over the years regarding crowd safety. The recent instances of lighting smoke bombs in the ground is both a Health & Safety issue and also an offence. We have evidence of some of people actually bragging on social media sites of their intentions!
Having been responsible for ground safety for the past 20 years, I am proud of our safety record and of the experienced senior members of the Safety Team. As a League 2 club we are very fortunate to have recruited the quality of personnel into these positions. The Safety Officer and Assistant Safety Officer are both ex senior police officers and both held the position as Safety Officer at PNE. Our Deputy Safety Officer and Chief Steward are fully trained and have been at Morecambe since 1997. There has been a commitment to steward development and regular training to NVQ levels 2, 3 and 4 through Telford College over many years.
The Globe Arena is licensed through Lancashire County Council who issue the annual Safety Certificate, which is an onerous document. We are inspected by them and also by the Sports Ground Safety Authority on a matchday on a regular basis and receive positive feedback from these inspections. As directors of the club we have a corporate responsibility to ensure the standards laid down by the various authorities are maintained.
Crowd management is not an easy task. Spectators are caught up with the emotions of the day, the way the match is going, the influence of alcohol, etc. Stewards cannot win, if they instruct or take action on a given situation they are called jobsworths or busy, if they judge not to take action they are accused of ignoring the situation or ducking out. I would urge you all to be a little more tolerant and accepting of the role they have to play, it is for your safety. Like the referee and assistants on the pitch, who are often the villain in spectators' eyes, we cannot run football matches without them, likewise the safety team and stewards.
If anyone would like to discuss any of these issues I will be at the fans forum on April 9 with senior members of the safety team and we will be more than happy to have a chat.
Enjoy today's game play your part in delivering three points and have a great Easter.