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Fans call for OS security overhaul

Filed: Friday, 26th August 2016
By: Staff Writer

Supporters have pleaded with West Ham United to introduce effective security at the Olympic Stadium after yet more disturbing scenes inside the ground last night.

Stadium security - which is controlled by the arena's operators, not West Ham - has been panned by Hammers fans this morning after the Europa League clash with Astra was marred by yet more fights and disagreements.

Supporters posting on the KUMB Forum and social media post-match revealed how a number of angry incidents took place inside thew stadium, whilst inexperienced stewards either failed to intervene or in some cases, refused to assist.

As a result, a number of supporters have urged West Ham United to raise the issue with the stadium operators as a matter of urgency, before a serious incident occurs.

"I have some significant experience in this field and what I am seeing currently is going to end very badly," wrote KUMB member AMC1964. "The incident in the East Stand could have been dealt with very quickly if the stewards knew what they were doing.

"Unfortunately though, these folks are the bottom end of SIA [Security Industry Authority] licensed staff and have very little experience in looking after football crowds. They may have done brilliantly with the athletics and rugby lot, but football is a very different game/crowd.

"The bag searches were appalling, the young steward with the search wand at Turnstile F hadn't even got it turned on properly. Meanwhile there appeared to be about 200 away fans un-segregated in the STBL - and whilst that may have been fine last night, they need to up their game massively for a League game.

"30 or 40 well-organised trouble-makers will cause absolute havoc in this ground at present. I saw the response team on Sunday and they are going to get destroyed if it kicks off."

Meanwhile the partner of a former Boleyn Ground steward revealed via the KUMB Forum that it isn't just supporters who harbour major doubts about the present security team's ability to deal with any type of large-scale problem.

"My partner was a steward for many years in the BMU, often in the disabled section as that linked with his full time job," they wrote.

"He was prepared to give it a try at the new stadium and did actually work as a steward at the first match, despite everything pointing towards the organisation being somewhat lacking to say the least.

"Suffice to say he has decided to hang up his hi-viz jacket. He is not the only one. The stewards he worked with were all well trained and had worked at West Ham for many years, but a lot of them have not carried on."

"I don't think this lot have an utter clue what they're doing - and it's getting to a point where something dangerous could now happen"
- KUMB member hammers92

In addition to the unsuitability of the current security team to effectively police major football matches, fans were also disappointed that security checks were not being carried out upon entering the stadium..

Further, the stadium's post-half time 'open door policy' - which has seen ticketless fans enter the ground for the final 45 minutes of some games - was also questioned.

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