DOHA, Qatar – Shaping a whole-of-society approach to enhance safety and security at major events was the focus of international experts at a meeting held last month in Doha.
With such events facing criminal activities ranging from disorder and violence to cyberattacks and terrorism, more than 350 participants representing law enforcement, academia, the private sector and international organizations sought to build on a global network of sports safety and security expertise established under Project Stadia.
Launched by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar, the 10-year project aims to create a Centre of Excellence to help INTERPOL’s 192 member countries undertake policing and security preparations for major sporting events. It will contribute to policing and security arrangements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Project Stadia and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy co-hosted the 1st Major Event Safety and Security Conference (7 and 8 November), in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.
The meeting notably saw the launch of a state-of-the-art knowledge management system by Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
It will help support capacity development activities and major event policing operations by providing countries hosting major events with unique knowledge content, and facilitate secure information exchange in real time on emerging incidents and emergencies.
The knowledge management system consolidates the learning accumulated since Project Stadia was established in 2012 through legislation, physical security and cybersecurity expert meetings, as well as training courses held with partners which include NCS4 (University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security).
At the meeting INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said Project Stadia underlines the role of INTERPOL in fostering collaboration across all sectors, acting as an ‘early global warning system’ and providing stakeholders worldwide with ‘a ready network of specialists for securing major events’ in the face of growing transnational threats.
INTERPOL’s key role in enhancing international police cooperation, including through capacity building and training, was further underlined on the sidelines of the conference with the signing of an agreement between INTERPOL and the Police College of the State of Qatar to strengthen their joint training activities.