Nottingham Forest City Ground stadium

Nottingham Forest has introduced counter-terrorism security measures in place for match days at the City Ground.

Counter-terrorism Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Gates (HVMG) were installed at the stadium in line with the ‘protection of crowded places’ scheme set up by the Government.

The first use of HVMG was on December 4th, in the game against Peterborough United where Nottingham Forest broke their string of draws by winning 2-0.

Gates were put in place at the north and east ends of Pavilion Road as well as the entrance to Colwick Road. Additionally, the installation of bollards at the Trentside North were placed.

The gates were put up two hours before kick-off and were removed almost half hour after the final whistle.

Digital boards were in place to alert people when the restrictions were active.

Forest fan James Pugh, of Nottingham, said he felt safer knowing there was support in place.

The ‘Protection of Crowded Places’ scheme was set up by the government as ‘”the reality is that crowded places can be vulnerable.” (HS Security)

In the example of sporting grounds there is a high volume of fans travelling over a short period of time. It is a challenge to keep pedestrian areas and vehicle areas separate to reduce the chances of an accident or attack.

Due to the number of people, access for emergency services is imperative and the scheme is set up to help those workers and to create a safer space for all.

The specialist gates are added to secure the roads surrounding stadiums, intending for road closures on match days. This prevents the likelihood of accidents and injuries to crowds.

The game saw the largest crowd of the season to date with more than 28,000 fans attending.

Mr Pugh added: “I made sure I was early for the game after speculation of parking difficulties but it all ran smoothly. If I wasn’t aware of the measures I wouldn’t have noticed too much of a difference in parking.

“The measures seemed to work well, it made me feel somewhat safer knowing that there was support in place.

“I think the scheme is great as too many people have been hurt at events, you only need to look at the Hillsborough disaster and the Travis Scott concert recently.”

The HVMG were successful during the weekends game and will be in place for all upcoming games at the City Ground.

A Nottingham Forest spokesman said: “This important project will further help safeguard supporters attending matches at the City Ground and visitors’ assistance in ensuring a smooth transition is greatly appreciated.”