Over the past few years, over 2.5 million spectators a year have seen some of the 480 matches in Allsvenskan and Superettan in the stadiums. In order to be able to host all these events and to make the leauge games desirable safe, secure and atmospheric, a solid security work is required. A new film from Swedish Professional Football Leagues shows how Swedish elite football clubs works with arena safety during each game in the league.
The host club is responsible for the arena security and by working together with the supporters, the Swedish FA, Swedish Professional Football Leagues, the police and volunteers they try to make every game to a memorable experience for the spectators.
The new video shows how security works with the game Hammarby IF – BK Häcken from autumn 2018 as an example.
The security work is divided in such a way that disorder and other incidents inside the arena are the responsibility of the host club. Crime ends up on the police and the prosecutor’s table, as well as the responsibility for the public order outside the stadiums before and after a league game. Of course, there must be some sort of collaboration between the club and the police. A good example is what happened in Helsingborg a few years ago when individuals ran into the pitch after the game and caused trouble. Afterwards the police, prosecutors and the club work together with the result that all individuals where being identified, prosecuted and convicted of crimes against the public order. The indicted individuals were sentenced to both fines and suspensions from football.
The security work is a balancing act on what the club is capable of and what others are good at, as well as what legal rights and obligations each shareholder has. For an event to be successful, a well-developed collaboration between a variety of actors is required. When an elite football match is arranged by a club, approximately 100-1000 people are involved in the work around the whole event. Only the club’s own staff at a derby game in Stockholm can be between 500-800 people.
The organizer is therefore responsible for ensuring that there is acceptable order and good security inside the stadium and the police are responsible for taking care of what is happening outside in the streets. The Police costs are thus primarily due to the efforts the police make out in the city where people are heading to or from the game. Not inside the stadium that many believes.
Sometimes football can not, for various reasons, act alone in a threatening situation and at that time football must get help from other actors in society. In the same way as the police protect the freedom of expression from attacks on demonstrations, football sometimes needs protection against criminal action and attacks on football games.
When the public safety is being threatened during the games the clubs can not act on their own but afterwards any confrontation can be followed up with videos, witnesses, identification and suspensions. A cooperation between the hosting club, the police, prosecutors and court must continue in order for those individuals who commit crimes in connection with football games to be punished. Collective condemnations are directly counterproductive as an absolute majority of all games and all supporters are completely without guilt or not causing problems.
The way things are working in Sweden at the moment is the future and Swedish Professional Football Leagues is still often referred to as Best Practice by UEFA.
Swedish football takes responsibility and Swedish football acts to take even greater responsibility. And we will continue to do so. Our fans creates an impressive atmosphere inside the stadiums at every occasion. Swedish football is for the people.