ARGYLE are responding to the recent EFL statement regarding pyrotechnics, as well as to the continuing high-level national security level, by increasing safety measures on match-days.
By adhering to one of our new club values, Argyle will be insuring that all supporters will be able to enjoy their match-day experience without any health and safety concerns.
We will be taking a zero tolerance approach to anyone trying to bring in pyrotechnics into the stadium and anyone who is caught will be given a banning order.
· The club is in constant consultation with the police, with lengthy bans already being issued to two supporters this season.
· The club took decisive action following the lighting of a smoke device during our home match against Blackpool earlier in the season.
· While these are local bans, most EFL and Premier League football clubs extend these bans to their own stadia too - anyone subject to a local/club ban must ensure with host clubs that they are legally allowed into away stadiums before entry.
· Wembley Stadium extends local bans to the national stadium for ALL events held.
The club is working on increasing the safety for all supporters as by improving our security in the following ways:
· Reflecting on the wider safety environment of both the nation and of public sporting events, we will be introducing a more comprehensive approach to match-day searching – this will include the use of handheld scanners.
· Bags may be subject to stricter searching. This may include searches being undertaken away from turnstile entrances.
· We are encouraging supporters to leave bags at home if at all possible – this will reduce the queues to speed up match-day entry. We are aware some people have to bring bags into the stadium for personal reasons, but please have them ready to be searched.
· We are considering a fast track queue for supporters without bags entering the stadium to reduce queue times.
· We will shortly introduce a high-profile text number for supporters to report problems and inappropriate behaviour of supporters at Argyle matches.
Injuries caused to supporters from handheld smoke devices can leave lifelong injuries. The image above shows the impact one of the devices had on a supporter’s coat.
Head of Operations Jon Back commented on Argyle’s approach to improve supporters experience, saying: “Pyrotechnics, such as smoke bombs, are nasty little devices that can cause lifelong injuries should they fall down the back of a person’s neck or strike people in the face.
“It is because they are so dangerous that we are seeing clubs, football authorities and police forces across Europe coming together to eliminate them from football grounds.
“It is also a criminal offence to bring these devices into football stadia and we are working closely with the Devon and Cornwall Police in this matter.
“Although the problem is a lot worse in other parts of Europe, we have had some isolated instances where smoke devices have been ignited inside Home Park, but with our new high definition CCTV system we are readily able to identify offenders and take appropriate action.
“As an example, this season we have retrospectively identified a number of people involved in setting off a device during our home game versus Blackpool earlier this year. Working in partnership with the police, these people have been given lengthy bans from Home Park.
“One of our newly developed club values is fan focus and as part of this, we are striving to look after our passionate, law-abiding fans by taking a zero-tolerance approach to offences such as these.”