The success of any event, concert, or game is judged by the number of attendees. The bigger the crowd the more successful it is considered. However, sometimes the crowd can turn from extra relaxed to burning violent in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
From stampedes to fights and burning valuables to throwing things at each other can result in huge catastrophes, deaths, and injuries. To avoid such situations, Crowd Control Services comes to the rescue.
If you don’t know about crowd control services, let’s first discuss it.
Definition of Crowd Control Services
Crowd Control Services is meant to offer public security to manage large crowds to avoid quarrels, outbreaks, and fights due to riots or drunk and disorderly people.
Crowd Control Services involves hiring security guards and police officers to control large crowds gathered at streets, stadiums, or music concerts.
Why are Crowd Control Services Necessary?
Crowd Control Services are necessary for maintaining discipline when people gather out in large numbers. Generally, crowd control management is needed in a wide range of events and industries, including hospitality, schools, and sports. Crowd control management’s primary responsibility is creating queues, maintaining a smooth traffic flow, and barricading no-go areas.
Events and Locations Needing Crowd Control Services
Crowd Control Management is responsible for controlling large crowd gatherings. The goal is to control the crowd and avoid any brawls, stampedes, violence, fights, injuries, and deaths. Some of the events where crowd control service
Types of events and locations that may require crowd control services include:
- Moto Racing Championship
- Trade Shows and Events
- Charity Events
- Cultural Gatherings
- Performance Shows
- Festivals and Carnivals
- Golfing Events and Championships
Role and responsibilities Of Crowd Control Professionals
A crowd control professional’s role is to protect the crowd from any kind of brawls and fights. Let’s dive into some of the major roles of crowd control professionals.
Protecting a Venue
The crowd controller invigilates and monitors a venue’s security outside the venue. From managing long queues to checking the people meeting requirements to enter the venue, a crowd control professional has to take care of everything to keep the venue protected and people under control.
One of the roles of a crowd control professional is to stop anyone from entering the venue through the unofficial entrance or without fulfilling the requirements to enter it.
Checking the Attendees at the Entrance
Whether crowd controllers are hired for concert or event security, they must deploy themselves at the entrance. The purpose is to perform security check of attendees to ensure that no weapons or any harmful material is taken inside the premises.
Another reason to deploy crowd controllers at the entrance is to confirm identification and whether the person is eligible to enter or not. Crowd controllers must ask attendees to pass through the security gate and scan their bags and other items with a metal detector.
Monitoring Security Systems
Some crowd control management personnel have to work within a room to monitor security cameras and take action in case of any trouble. They may inform other members of the team to alert them of any unusual situation and resolve before things turn out to be worse.
Maintaining Discipline on Premises
Large crowds are hard to handle and without taking the lead, it might turn into a mess. The crowd control officer has to maintain discipline and a smooth flow of vehicles as well as people entering the venue. From managing queues to guiding the attendees, crowd control management has to ensure discipline on the premises.
Detaining Attendees in Case of Suspicion
Not everyone attending the event is the same. Some of the attendees might be attending the event to create chaos and trouble within the venue. The crowd control management has to take serious actions against those culprits by either detaining them or asking them to leave. In the worst-case scenario, they may hand over the culprit to the police.
Patrolling Property to Ensure Security
Crowd control strategies also include patrolling to ensure everything in the premises and surroundings is in place. Moreover, in some areas, there might be an unavailability of security cameras, which can be vulnerable to the security of premises. The crowd control officer also has to do patrolling in the premises to ensure optimal security.
Give Directions to Guests and Attendees
Some areas of the premises are too big that it becomes difficult for anyone to get into the place. However, crowd control management will give directions to the guests and attendees who are looking for some direction to get to the right place.
Watch For Safety Hazards
Apart from brawls, fights, and security threats, the officer must ensure that safety measures are top-notch. For instance, the fire extinguisher is installed, the emergency exit is clear, and entry and exit points are secure. In case of any discrepancy, appropriate measures need to be taken.
When chaos happens, things might turn out from bad to worse. Sometimes it gets out of crowd control management to handle the situation. That is where police is contacted to get involved and control the crowd. The police may deploy force to disperse the crowd, use water cannons, or throw tear gas.
Training and Qualification of Crowd Control Professionals
Training and qualification of crowd control professionals is essential to perform duties according to the standards. It is compulsory for crowd control professionals to obtain a certification like Certificate II or Certificate III in security operations. Acquiring this certificate will help them prove that they have the desired skill set to perform the duties of a crowd controller. Some crowd control companies will ask for the certificate as proof before hiring them.
Additional certificates and qualifications are also required by some crowd control companies such as first aid certificates. The certificate proves that the crowd control professional is qualified to handle any emergency treatment. Employers may ask for a valid driver’s license and a certain fitness level to qualify for the position.
Crowd Controller Working Conditions
Crowd controllers are hired on short notice and there is no fixed duty time. It can vary from anywhere between 4 hours to 24 hours. Moreover, crowd controllers are also deployed at different places, sometimes inside the premises and sometimes outside. In any case, crowd controllers need to endure any type of weather changes and conditions. The job can be quite stressful at times, but the crowd controller must be able to handle it.
Types of Crowd Control Measures
Crowd controlling is a hectic task and without having proper training, it won’t be possible. However, crowd control security services ensure the best crowd control by taking appropriate measures.
Here are some of the measures taken by crowd controllers to manage the mammoth crowd.
Physical Barriers and Fencing
Crowd control management has to take several measures to control the crowd. One of them is by putting physical barriers and fencing the area. Crowd control barriers are used by crowd control management to guide attendees and keep them safe. The kind of barriers used depends on security challenges and threats pedestrians face. Some of the common types of barriers include:
- Heavy-duty metal crowd barriers
- Blow molded barriers
- Plastic crowd control fences
- HDPE crowd barriers
- Expanding trellis barriers
- Three gate safety barriers
Security personnel and guards
Types of crowd control measures also include deploying security personnel and guards at different entry and exit points. These crowd control professionals are responsible for checking attendees and informing others in case of any misconduct or serious situation.
Traffic control and pedestrian management
Large crowds are difficult to manage and keep a smooth flow of traffic and pedestrian takes a toll. Especially when the traffic is jam-packed and pedestrians are flooding in, crowd control professionals have to take the lead and ensure a steady and smooth flow.
Queue management is also one of the methods adopted by crowd control professionals to ensure smooth entrance and exit of the attendees. The professional has to manage queues and guide the pedestrians and attendees about the premises and its surroundings.
Planning for Crowd Control
Best crowd control management includes lots of planning before the big day arrives. In the past year, a tragic event took place at the Astroworld music festival where dozens of attendees were killed and injured. To avoid such a situation, it is important to plan and devise crowd control strategies before fun turns into a nightmare. Here are some of the plans crowd controllers must take into consideration.
Assessing the Crowd Control Needs
Planning for crowd control management starts with assessing the crowd control needs, venue capacity, and location of entrances and exits. Organizers managing the event must allow crowd control professionals to gather adequate information about the number of attendees, venue, and adequate protocols to handle crowd safety.
In addition, police and fire agencies should also be informed about the event and give feedback to improve security measures and the smooth flow of pedestrians as well as traffic.
Developing a crowd control plan
The next step is to develop a crowd control plan to help smooth the flow of attendees and avoid any stampedes. For instance, the venue should be carefully analyzed and inspected to find any discrepancies such as areas where people could injure or get overcrowded. Moreover, the crowd control management should also arrange for signage and boards to guide attendees about different areas such as restroom, smoking area, registration areas, and restricted areas.
Implementing and enforcing the crowd control plan
Everything is set and ready to kick off. Now it is time to implement the crowd control plan on the big day. Keep in mind that not all the plans will go accordingly. Therefore, the crowd control management has to change the plan according to the situation.
Best practices for crowd control
Crowd control management is tough and challenging. But that does not mean it could not be done well. Here are some of the best practices to ensure optimal crowd control management.
Safety and Security of Attendees
Safety and security of attendees is the primary responsibility of crowd controllers. The moment attendees enter the venue to the time they exit, crowd control management should be vigilant of any unusual and suspicious activities. Crowd controllers must also be equipped with necessary equipment such as weapons, metal scanners, and a first aid kit. In addition, crowd control management is responsible for guiding attendees, managing queues, and ensuring a smooth flow of vehicles and pedestrians.
Crowd control management should also look at the entry and exit points to clear any obstructions. Moreover, anything that could disrupt traffic flow, entry, and exit of attendees or security personnel should also be minimized. If anything goes wrong at some point, the risk of injuries and fatalities will reduce, and evacuating attendees out of the venue will not cause trouble.
Dealing with Emergencies and Difficult Situations
As we have discussed earlier, handling a large crowd is complex and things can turn bad or worse. However, crowd control professionals should be prepared to deal with any kind of emergency or difficult situation. From securing the venue from potential attacks to providing first aid to the injured, crowd control management should prepare beforehand.
Crowd control professionals have to deal with difficult situations at times. From managing large crowds to maintaining a smooth flow of traffic, every single aspect has to look seriously. Professional crowd control services ensure the deployment of the best crowd control professionals and adopt practices to minimize the risk.