This brief case-study describes how Roller Barrier has been successfully deployed around a popular MUGA pitch to safely prevent unauthorised access.
What Does MUGA Stand For?
The acronym MUGA stands for Multi Use Games Area. These facilities are designed and constructed to allow people to safely enjoy a variety of sports such as football, basketball and tennis, on the same surface. They provide a cost effective way to make the best use of limited space which is one of the key reasons they’ve become popular with schools and local authorities.
Guidance from Sport England specifies five different types of MUGA and STPs (synthetic turf pitches). Each type is defined by the surfaces used and their applicability to various sports. For example, type 5 MUGA surfaces are highly versatile, providing exactly what’s needed for a wide range of sports including athletics, hockey and football.
MUGA Security Challenge
A newly installed MUGA pitch included 5 metre high mesh perimeter fencing with lockable gates. These were secured with padlocks when the pitch wasn’t in use. But the operating authority became aware that children were scaling the fencing, during evenings, to gain access to the pitch. Luckily these intruders had not caused any damage and had not suffered any injuries. They were simply accessing the site to enjoy a game of football.
But the local authority were highly aware of the risks they faced when climbing over the 5m high fence. A fall from this height could result in serious injury or even death. And since the MUGA pitch is located in the middle of a park access for emergency services is extremely difficult.
Recognising their duty-of-care responsibilities, which include the need to protect trespassers, the local authority investigated what could be done to secure the MUGA site and prevent adventurous youngsters from scaling the fencing and putting themselves at risk.
The dimensions of the existing mesh fencing were large enough for agile youngsters to gain footholds and handholds, scale the 5m fence and flip over to the other side. The challenge was therefore to prevent people from effectively using the perimeter fencing as a ladder and stopping them from climbing over the top. The site also had a number of lamp posts around the MUGA pitch which could potentially be climbed to gain access to the fence top. Moving these lamp posts was not an option.
Roller Barrier Security Solution
The security solution to this challenging situation involved two key aspects. Firstly, it was necessary to prevent the wide-gauge mesh fencing from being used by agile climbers. This was achieved by installing a robust finer gauge mesh, extending 50cm down from the top of the perimeter fence, around the entire MUGA pitch. Since the installation was at a height of 5m a scissor lift was used to carry out the fencing upgrade with the MUGA pitch surface appropriately protected.
But even with this finer gauge mesh in place it was recognised that there was still a risk that someone might attempt to climb over the fence-top. The solution was to make the fence-top unstable to climbers by installing Roller Barrier around the entire perimeter fence. Unlike other anti climb barriers Roller Barrier is non-aggressive and doesn’t present any risk of impalement or injury if someone attempts to climb over it.
The Roller Barrier installation required the manufacture of bespoke brackets to match the gauge of the fence-top mesh. Bracing plates were used to stabilise the installation and security fixings were used throughout to prevent unauthorised removal.
The result has been entirely successful. This MUGA pitch is no longer attracting football loving trespassers (who have found alternative venues) and the local authority is fulfilling their duty of care responsibility while protecting their valued MUGA pitch from potential damage.
As can be seen in these images, the additional fine mesh fencing section installed at the top along with Roller Barrier has not impeded visibility and hasn’t made the site look like a fortress. The green coloured Roller Barrier cups blend well with the fencing colour and the use of nearby lamp posts as climbing aids has been effectively prevented.