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Bedford Blues partner with Crowd Angel to boost fan safety
Fri, 22nd Mar 2024

Crowd Angel, a situational messaging platform, has joined forces with Bedford Blues Rugby Club to launch a project aimed at enhancing spectator safety at the Goldington Road ground during the 2024/25 season. The technology will enable the club to send bespoke messages to patrons in different sections of the stadium, sharing crucial information about unfolding incidents, directing them away from congested areas, and generally improving the spectator experience.

This use of technology will help Bedford Blues in adhering to the forthcoming legislation, Martyn's Law or the Terrorism Protection of Premises Bill, anticipated to pass in summer 2024. Areas of focus for the legislation include increased protection at public venues, enhancing security measures, and ensuring personal safety. It is a response to the tragic Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 and is expected to apply to venues that play host to at least 800 visitors, such as Goldington Road, with a capacity of 5,531.

The implications for the venues relate to the deployment of adequate security systems, provision of staff training, and establishment of clear crowd management protocols to mitigate terrorism threats. Utilising geofencing technology, the Crowd Angel platform empowers event organisers to digitally track spectator movements and dispatch customised, location-specific SMS notifications and alerts, enhancing overall crowd safety.

Apart from keeping tabs on potential overcrowding locations, the platform can also aid organisers in repositioning stewards and staff members to crowded zones, redirect spectators, open up additional entry and exit points, among other measures. A vital feature is the ability to store and report the responses to unfolding situations, a key compliance requisite under Martyn's Law.

Dawn Brittain, Operations Manager at Bedford Blues Rugby Club, spoke highly of the new tie-up, stating, “We are very pleased to have found a partner in Crowd Angel as we move towards new legislation around keeping crowds safe here at Goldington Road. With their situational messaging technology, we can also enhance our fan communication and enjoyment every time they come to watch the Blues playing on home turf”.

Paul Tindley, CEO at Crowd Angel, spoke of Bedford Blues as an ideal launch partner, noting their commitment to community, fan safety, and ongoing efforts to upgrade the spectator experience. “We are extremely proud of the opportunity to support the club in making its games and venues secure and compliant with the upcoming Martyn's Law,” he said.

According to the company, the partnership marks an important step forward in patron safety, aptly blending technology with spectator enjoyment and security measures. As this first-of-its-kind implementation unrolls, it will be fascinating to observe the evolvement of public safety measures and technology usage in the sports and entertainment industry.