#5. Recommendations to Government and Industry to improve Crowd Safety at outdoor events
This final chapter revisits each of the research objectives, summarises the findings, critically appraises the research process and concludes with offering three recommendations to government and industry.
(Please note this was originally produced in 2019-2020.)
Here are the previous chapters for reference:
#1 The Root Cause of Crowd Disasters
#2 Legislation, Regulation and Crowd Safety
#3 The Impact of Legislation on Competency
#4 The perceptions of licensing authorities and event safety professionals on crowd safety and legislation at outdoor events
In summary, the findings are:
- The perspective of Crowd Safety shifted over the last decades, pivoting from crowd control to the safe planning and management of crowds, while research identified that the root cause of disaster was not due to the crowd itself, but failings in management.
- Crowd safety is not the focus of any legislation that impacts outdoor events, and this has negative consequences in reality.
- The gap in legislation allows events to take place without oversight and no requirement to report incidents, with respondents often witnessing incidents at outdoor events, agreeing that introducing crowd safety legislation is the most important change to improve safety.
In summary, the recommendations are:
- The first recommendation to government is to develop legislation or mandatory requirements for the approval process and management of crowd safety for outdoor events.
- The second recommendation to government and industry is to establish a certification system for crowd safety practitioners.
- The final recommendation is to conduct further research on regulation and crowd safety at events.
First Objective: To critically review literature regarding crowd safety
The literature review revealed that the study of crowds is a relatively young subject area (Abbott and Geddie, 2000) and has shifted in perspective over time from a phenomenon that crowds were seen as a threat, rather than needing protection themselves (Darby et al, 2004; Cocking et al, 2010; Drury and Stott, 2011; Reicher et al, 2014). The shift from the attitude of crowd control to crowd management pivoted after the Hillsborough Disaster (Elliott and Smith, 1993). Since then the call for competency and a legal framework to ensure the safe planning of crowd management emerged in industry and academia, yet is not reflected in reality for outdoor events (Martella et al, 2017).
Furthermore, the research revealed that the root cause of a disaster is “failings in management” or “poor safety culture” (Couto, 1989; Pate-Cornell, 1992; Turner, 1994; Pidgeon, 1997; Lea et al, 1998; Challenger and Clegg, 2011). This evidence further supports the claim that the crowd itself is not the reason for the disaster. When comparing notable disasters or incidents in the UK between sports stadia and outdoor events; there have been none in sports stadia since 1989 (when the SGSA was introduced) and there have been incidents right up to present day in outdoor events.
To conclude, the perspective of Crowd Safety shifted over the last decades, pivoting from crowd control to the safe planning and management of crowds, while research identified that the root cause of disaster was not due to the crowd itself, but failings in management.