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Policing, Safety and Security in Public Assembly Facilities

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science and Management Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2010 Pages: 81-89
Steve Frosdick
Date Published
9 pages
This paper examines how 'policing', in its broadest term, seeks to maintain public safety and security where the public gathers to view sporting events, concerts, art exhibits, plays, and similar events with a large number of spectators.
This article explores how 'policing', in its widest sense, seeks to maintain public safety and security in places where people gather to view events. The paper beigns by clarifying its setting in public assembly facilities and conceiving of 'policing' as 'almost anything done by anyone who controls other people' (Waddington, 2007). The paper goes on to show how the long history of disasters and disorder in such facilities means that they have to be 'policed' and outlines the various bodies involved in 'policing' them. The paper then discusses the concepts of 'safety' and 'security'. 'Safety' starts with structural design and maintenance to prevent fire or collapse. It manages capacities, ingress and egress in complex space. It also deals with aspects of human behaviors, emergencies and evacuations. 'Security', on the other hand, addresses the prevention and detection of crime, the terrorist threat and the maintenance of public tranquility. The paper seeks to differentiate the terms 'safety' and 'security' with reference to four alternative models. Two forms of the integrated whole in which 'security' is conceived as a subset of 'safety', or vice versa, are outlined and commended as best practice. However, the historical practice and current policy reasons why 'safety' and 'security' have been treated as either separate or overlapping concepts are also explored. The discussion refers to various facility disasters to illustrate the serious consequences of when policing policy and practice overlooks 'safety' or allows 'security' and 'safety' to get out of balance. Figure and references (Published Abstract)