It’s Christmas and the Boxing Day Test is imminent. 5 days of scheduled Cricket excellence. The English Cricket Team versus Australia contesting Cricket’s Holy Grail – The Ashes. But far from occurring in the elegant grounds of Rupertswood at the home of the then President of the Melbourne Cricket Club – William Clarke and his wife Janet in 1882, with attendance by invitation, this will be held in one of the world’s greatest stadiums, the MCG – or Melbourne Cricket Ground – in front of up to 90,000 fans.
Here is an extract for the Age describing last year’s Boxing Day Test. This year it’s the English team and it may prove to be an even bigger event.
Boxing Day Test: Spectators stream into MCG amid beefed up police presence
Spectators streaming into the MCG for the Boxing Day Test have been greeted by hundreds of additional police after a Christmas Day terror plot was thwarted last week.
Authorities have assured Victorians they should feel confident they are safe at busy events, including at the traditional Melbourne Test match.
Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton declined to reveal how many police had been deployed but said there was a “strong visibility” at the event.
“I don’t say for operational reasons what those total numbers are but I can certainly tell you they number in the hundreds of additional police that are here today,” he said.
Police carried out a series of raids across Melbourne on Friday to prevent an alleged terrorist attack planned to target CBD landmarks.
“It has meant that we’ve had to put additional planning into security of all the events through this period,” Mr Ashton said.
“If you’re at home [and] you’re thinking of coming to the cricket I’d only encourage you to do so.”
Premier Daniel Andrews praised Victorians for continuing to enjoy major events despite the threat uncovered last week.
“It is great to see so many Victorians and Australians out doing all the special things at this time of year – not cowered by the plot that was foiled on Friday,” he said.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he expected good crowd numbers.
“Certainly the indications are the numbers are strong. People are streaming in,” he said, outside the ground on Monday morning. “We anticipate a good crowd and the weather is pretty well perfect for watching cricket.”
The question is whether the security on offer is actually the most effective – and efficient available – considering the size of the potential crowd. For metal detection, patrons are wanded. Obvious weapons such as knives and guns, as well as crude devices such as nail bombs may be detected, maybe. However there are far more effective mechanisms available to screen both the crowd and identify potential weapons or explosives.
Firstly there are the Evolv screening devices. These are walk through with the ability to cope with 700 people per hour. 24 of these units placed on entrances could effectively screen a 90,000 plus crowd in around 2.6 hours. Gates could be opened at 8am for the 11am start.
This device as the video demonstrates identifies the location and size of the weapon on the screened subject.
AML Risk Management also provide the very best in mobile explosive testing devices. Trained personnel from our Asset Protection Units can detect most common explosive compounds using hand held Trace Detection Devices. If detected the teams are equipped to render ineffective such bombs with specialist equipment that ensures 90% of the bomb or device capacity is neutralised.
An finally there is the danger of vehicular attack. AML Risk Management provide a portable and mobile Crash Barrier system that is tried and tested against vehicular impact to 48km/h. With large crowds using a blocked off Brunton Avenue and busy Wellington St, such an attack is a very possible high risk. Portable Crash Barriers are easily deployed and removed.
Whilst our Government is involved with international conflicts, it is a possibility, indeed a reality, that someone aligned with a known terrorist group may attempt to disrupt this event. Let’s ensure that the only Ashes Australia experiences are restricted to the field of play. Being well prepared with practical preventative measures in the long run provides sensible and scientific protection.
AML provide measured, realistic and effective protection. Combining technology, training and intelligence.
Preparation, Prevention, Protection – the AML way