Previously published as: Police Studies: Intnl Review of Police Development
Incorporates: American Journal of Police
Online from: 1997
Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management
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|Title:||Crowd psychology, public order police training and the policing of football crowds|
|Author(s):||James Hoggett, (School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK), Clifford Stott, (School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)|
|Citation:||James Hoggett, Clifford Stott, (2010) "Crowd psychology, public order police training and the policing of football crowds", Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 33 Iss: 2, pp.218 - 235|
|Keywords:||Police, Psychology, Training|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/13639511011044858 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The authors would like to thank the ACPO football portfolio holder Stephen Thomas for his help and support. The work was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Case Award PTA/033/2005/00044. Thanks also to all the police officers who helped to facilitate the work and support the authors. Thanks to John Drury for his help in editing the work.|
Purpose – This study seeks to examine what theory of crowd psychology is being applied within public order police training in England and Wales and what accounts of crowds, police strategies and tactics subsequently emerge among officers who undertake this training.
Design/methodology/approach – The study uses a multi-method approach including observations of public order training courses, interviews with students and instructors, and the dissemination of questionnaires.
Findings – The analysis suggests that a form of crowd theory associated with the work of Gustave Le Bon has become institutionalised within police training. This in turn is leading to a potentially counter-productive reliance on the undifferentiated use of force when policing crowds.
Practical implications – The study illustrates that such training outcomes not only are counter to the recent developments in evidence, theory and policy but also undermine the police's ability to develop more efficient and effective approaches to policing crowds.
Originality/value – The study provides a systematic review of public order training which demonstrates how crowd theory is used as a rationale and justification for the use of tactics based on undifferentiated force. It makes suggestions for improving police training so that updates in policy and theory can be translated into operational practice.
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