An empirical basis for the ratio of crowd controllers to patrons


Managing the safety of patrons and others in event and venue settings is of significant concern in Australia. A key strategy for dealing with this issue is the use of crowd controllers. Determining sufficient crowd controller numbers to reduce the potential for harm at events and venues is problematic given the many variables that are involved. This study identifies key risk factors impacting the crowd controller to patron ratio decision and develops decision aids (Crowd Controller Assessment Tools) for use by those faced with advising on, or making decisions about, crowd management. Current Australian and international literature were reviewed to contextualise the project and create a basis for understanding a range of factors that impact crowd and alcohol-related violence in the context of public events and venues. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants drawn from general duties police, specialist liquor law enforcement police, liquor licensing authorities, security firms, local government, national security industry associations, large-scale event/venues and specialist research centres operating in the areas of crowd safety and risk management. In all, some 50 (individual and group) interviews were undertaken in three Australian jurisdictions - Western Australia (Perth and Fremantle), Victoria (Melbourne and Geelong) and New South Wales (Sydney and Newcastle) between April 2012 and February 2013. (Executive summary, edited)