MONDAY MAY 16 LATEST: Julian Bray Aviation Security Expert writes:
Although this relates to a football stadium and 70,000 supporters, the situation at Manchester Uniteds' Old Trafford Football ground, could well be replicated at any airport, port, railway station, concert hall or shopping mall.
The Old Trafford device is now known to be a 'realistic training fake bomb' thought to be placed by a tiny 'one director' security company ,SECURITY SEARCH MANAGEMENT & SOLUTIONS LIMITED seemingly only in business for five years, and a specialist explosives search dog sub contractor during an exercise held last Wednesday, to test the capabilities of specialist dog handlers and apparently not the dogs!
The big question for Manchester United to consider is simply that from Wednesday to Sunday 'a device' remained undetected - not by an external security company, that's bad enough, but by MU's own staff and management who have regular access to the areas within Old Trafford, and responsible at all times for public and staff safety at a time of high international security risks.
Unfortunately we will now have some misguided security experts claiming it is a form of success inasmuch that the evacuation programme worked and was fully tested! The plan however failed as the strength of those external firms directing the earlier Wednesday exercise was not fully considered and stress tested by MU management. In effect you cannot simply claim component parts worked, in a major incident plan, all facets must be fully operative and protocols recorded in minute detail.
It seems quite obvious that if any organised security company ,ie, [ SECURITY SEARCH MANAGEMENT & SOLUTIONS LIMITED Director Christopher Reid,62, places several training fake bombs, now known to be fourteen used on Wednesday, they would originally be carried/stored in a specialist security case with say fourteen numbered (barcoded) compartments.
From a company search the security firm appears to be a small private 'one man' company, entitled because of its small size to file amended brief accounts. Paid up Capital given as a nominal £1. So anyone considering legal action against the security firm, need not bother.
Ideally, the case would have been issued, time stamped and signed for by the training operative, the fourteen individually numbered devices covertly placed, leaving fourteen empty custom cut out compartments in the security case.
At no time would any of the dummy devices simply be tossed into a regular 'workbag' or 'toolbag' the security implications of them falling into wrong hands are far too grave. The chain of security has to be maintained at all times.
Deployment of fourteen dummy devices would be completed, and the locations carefully recorded and possibly as part of the risk assessment, photographed on say an IPhone etc, then immediately transmitted to the security firm HQ plus an advisory to police that such an exercise was being carried out. Was any of this done, if not why not?
At the end of the security exercise, if one 'device' failed to be recovered, there would be a gaping hole in the fifteen position security case, before it was returned to the security company warehouse or HQ. Contents checked and the case plus fifteen devices signed back in to a secure store. Leaving no margin for error. Was any of this done?
The fact that the security firm allegedly covered up the loss of one of its devices ( or later we hear mistakenly thought he had the device in his bag) and caused the mass 70,000 strong evacuation of the stadium, should ensure that 'heads will roll' not only within the security firm, but also Old Trafford staff who must have signed off on the training exercise and closely monitored its progress.
Were any of those involved positively vetted?
It calls into question how the security firm was hired, was it a competitive tender or done on 'a mates rate' basis?
Where is the detailed written risk assessment for this exercise? Were the police informed that inert bomb like 'explosives' smelling devices were being used?
What are the criminal implications under the Corporate Manslaughter Act and the directors of the Football Club who have bear ultimate responsibility? Clearly the exercise would form part of any evidential court document bundle?
When the military use training blank rounds weapons have a distinctive yellow tag on the barrel. Why no 'fake device' markers; on this device?
Why did no one from the security firms involved, immediately the alarm was raised, phone in or did they truly not realised a ' fake device/bomb' was unaccounted for?
Julian Bray writes: Police now confirm a 'controlled explosion' has been carried out by Bomb Disposal officers on a suspect package' within the ground.
|RLC BOMB DISPOSAL truck arrives at Football Ground Picture: Courtesy PA|
Local sources are now confirming that an initial suspect package or device has been found comprising "a mobile phone wired to a toilet pipe" in or around hospitality area Club 100, in the North West Quadrant, and that a possible SECOND package or device is being looked for, possibly as a precaution, using explosives sniffer dogs; military bomb disposal officers are on site assisting local police commander. Four Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service Crews and Tenders were alsio seen entering the cordoned off quadrant.
The current National Threat Tevel is rated as SEVERE.
A Tannoy warning 'Operation Code Red' was repeatedly squawked to all high-viz jacketed match stewards enabling them to start a pre-arranged gently controlled evacuation programme, moving sections of the crowd slowly to the exits. The Old Trafford Stadium is one of the largest in the country.
Crew discreet public warnings on cruise ships use a different approach, the Bridge will repeat a single word several times such as "Bravo Bravo Bravo" (Code for FIRE) then gives co-ordinates of incident.
Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321 FREE.
If your information does not relate to an imminent threat, you can also contact MI5.
Current threat from international terrorismThe current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SEVERE.
Current threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorismThe threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism is set separately for Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).
- The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland is SEVERE.
- The current threat level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Britain is SUBSTANTIAL.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com