The 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond are less than a month away, and preparations are proceeding at a frenetic pace. The event, which is one of the top cycling races in the world, is expected to draw upwards of 450,000 spectators to the city, and unfortunately all of them may not be law-abiding citizens. However, by taking a few basic security precautions, you can make sure that you not only keep yourself safe, but also help protect the community in general.
Review your security plan
If you have a business or residence located anywhere near where large numbers of people will be gathering for the race, now is a good time to review the security plan for your property (visit the official website for the UCI Championships to review the race course). If you don’t have any type of security system right now, consider having one installed during the next few weeks. If you have a security system, make sure it’s actually being used the way it’s supposed to be used, and that any employees or family members (including family members who may be coming to town for the event) know how to operate it.
If you have an alarm system on your property that does not include any security cameras, consider having some added, especially if you have a business near the race course. Having visible security cameras outside your property can be a great way to deter petty crimes like shoplifting or vandalism. Also, footage from security cameras at local businesses could be of great help to authorities if there is any sort of major incident during the race—such as a terrorist attack.
Be aware of your surroundings
Speaking of a terrorist attack, another security precaution you can take if you plan on attending any of the races during the championship is to simply be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to authorities. While national, state, and local law enforcement have been preparing for months for the event and will have both a visible and behind-the-scenes presence, there is only so much they can do by themselves. They need the general public to help them spot suspicious activity, such as someone putting a backpack down in a crowded area and then walking away. If you see anything that doesn’t look right, report it to the nearest police officer immediately.
While a major security incident like a terrorist attack is always a possibility at an event like the UCI Road Championships, a much more likely security problem is an increase in run-of-the mill crimes like shoplifting and pick-pocketing. Be careful to protect your personal belongings, especially if you are in a tightly-packed crowd next to the race course.
Don’t forget your digital security
In addition to protecting your physical property, in this day and age you also need to keep your digital security in mind. One favorite trick of hackers is to find places where large numbers of people are gathered and set up “free” public wi-fi hot spots. As soon as you use one of these fake hot spots to access the internet, the hackers who set it up will have access to just about everything on your phone, tablet, or laptop—in other words, say goodbye to your identity. Be smart and only use secured, trusted networks to access the internet.
Another precaution you might consider taking if you plan on attending the race is to purchase a wallet or billfold with RFID-blocking capability. RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, can be used by criminals to steal your credit card data simply by walking past you. What better place for these types of criminals to operate than sporting events where large numbers of people are gathered? With a RFID-blocking wallet, you won’t have to worry about this threat.
By taking all of the security precautions mentioned here, you will be able to enjoy a safe experience as a spectator at one of the world’s greatest cycling races, right here in Richmond.