Number of security staff at Tokyo Olympics 2020 set to fall below requirements

The number of security staff at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo is likely to fall considerably short of the required amount, according to reports in Japan.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported organizers are fearing a shortage in security staff and are set to turn to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for help with the security operation at the Games.

Initial estimates predict the Olympics will be supported by around 14,000 private security guards, 21,000 police officers, and 9,000 volunteers.

The number is lower than the 50,850 security staff at Tokyo 2020 claimed it would need for the Olympic Games in its bid book in 2013.

It is likely the number will grow owing to changes to the Games since the Japanese capital secured the hosting rights six years ago, adding to the concern for the Organizing Committee.

According to the All Japan Security Service Association, the number of job openings for security staff is also far outweighing demand.

Kyodo reported there are 550,000 trained security guards in the country but at times the number of jobs available is eight times more than the volume of applications.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 is set to seek help from the SDF, the unified military forces of Japan that were established in 1954.

But the SDF is also struggling with recruitment, with American international affairs magazine The National Interest reporting it has not met its targets for the last 10 years.

Those interested in becoming security guards at Tokyo 2020 could be put off by the expected high temperatures in the city during the Games.

Tokyo 2020 will implement a number of measures designed to combat the heat – which has become the key issue for organizers in the build-up to the Games – including those for security guards, such as breathable uniforms.

Despite the concerns, officials are confident they will be able to recruit enough private security guards and other staff for the Games.

2020 Tokyo Olympics to boost security with facial recognition technology

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer, hundreds of terminals from NEC and Intel will scan the faces of athletes, volunteers, sponsors, and other accredited people.

If you are an athlete, sponsor, volunteer, or journalist at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, you will be using a facial recognition system from chipmaker Intel and Japanese electronics giant NEC to get where you need to be.

According to Ricardo Echevarria, general manager of Intel’s Olympics program, Intel and NEC are collaborating to provide a large-scale face recognition system for the Olympic Games. He said that the system was designed to help Olympics organizers ensure smoothly secure verification for more than 300,000 people who would be accredited at the games. They will register with photos from government-issued IDs.

Facial recognition has developed by leaps and bounds with the arrival of the sophisticated pattern-matching abilities of modern AI technology called neural networks. However, many are alarmed about pervasive computer surveillance, leading cities such as Somerville, Massachusetts, San Francisco, Oakland, and California, to bar police from using the technology.

Intel made no comment on the data retention aspects or privacy of the technology while NEC said that’s the purview of the Tokyo Olympics organizers, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Intel and NEC said that it won’t be a wholesale replacement for the old ways as accredited personnel at the Olympics will still have to wear traditional ID lanyards. However, the facial recognition system will be required: if someone tries to get access with one that’s stolen or loses their lanyard, the facial recognition system will block them, according to NEC.

Intel is also helping to run a global esports gaming competition in parallel with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Players from a group of 20 countries will compete in the videogame event, also including participation from gaming companies Epic Games and Capcom.

It is building virtual reality training realms which organizers and athletes can use to visualize arenas and other facilities.

Three Pillars of Sports Venue Security (part 3)

Acquiring Up-to-Date Best Practices Training

Sports venues are identified as soft targets by the Department of Homeland Security. Like many other soft targets, sports venues security threats are constantly evolving. This spurred the establishment of NCS4 – the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security – a national research center to study and practice the stadium safety and security.

The organization helps the sports industry of the United States have a wealth of resources and opportunities to learn about the latest advances in sports venues security solutions and the most update industry best practices. NCS4 conducts thought leadership summits, professional certification programs, networking opportunities, and evacuation training exercises which offer stadiums security and safety assessments, operating an NCS4 National Sports Security Laboratory to test, evaluate, and validate technology solutions.

By facilitating a mutually beneficial connection among government agencies, professional associations, professional sports and event venues managers, first responders, and security products manufacturers, NCS4 creates a solid industry foundation in order to improve the safety of spectator venues all around the country.

Teamwork Helps in Keeping a Venue Safe and Secure for All

Like sports themselves, security involves team effort to achieve success. And like sports, it is based on strong fundamentals to analyze the field of play and adjust strategies in order to meet new challenges. Sports venues can strengthen their security plans and procedures through these three pillars of comprehensive situational awareness, innovative operations, and timely identification. The best way to achieve this aim is by using strategic integration of the latest field-proven smart camera technology as well as other physical security systems such as video analytics and access control. Stadiums management should also take all the advantage of resources such as the NCS4 and peer conferences to keep up with the latest security best practices in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable game day experience for everyone.

Three Pillars of Sports Venue Security (part 2)

 

Improving Identification

Most stadiums restrict access to some areas of the venue such as player entrances, press boxes, VIP suites, catering kitchens, locker rooms, etc. Network cameras play an important role in deterring unauthorized people from going to the areas that they shouldn’t. Some stadiums integrate their access control systems with cameras to verify that the person who uses the badge or key card matches with the face in the database. Moreover, the cameras have a great role in detecting people attempting to gain entrance by going through the checkpoint on an authorized person’s close tail.

Using video analytics helps stadium security in spotting people who are wearing the wrong credential badge for the areas and sending staff to detain or remove them. In fact, some stadiums used their video systems’ sophisticated search algorithms to locate missing children so that be able to reunite them with their parents. In addition, camera operators sweep the area continuously for any activity outside the norm, therefore, search algorithms can also help them spot lost objects and suspicious packages then trace them back to whom left them.

Improving Operations

From an operation standpoint, surveillance cameras can provide a big source of information to limit the stadium’s liability and improve the venue management. For example, camera data can be used to challenge the erroneous fall and slip claims or to arbitrate the disputes. To illustrate the latter case, during a game, there was an altercation in the seats and one fan insisted that another was ejected from the premises. The patron lodging the complaint asserted that the guest services had failed to correctly handle the situation and demanded that the employee is fired. When the stadium security reviewed the video of the incident, it showed an entirely different story. As the patron was confronted with the video evidence, the complaint was rescinded and no one was fired.

When it comes to the kitchen, video cameras can help assure that the staff follows safety protocols and proper health when handling and preparing food. On the other hand, cameras monitoring retail shops and merchandise kiosks can help deter pilfering and unsanctioned giveaways as well as provide forensic evidence for prosecution if needed.