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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75590 Find in a Library
Title: Controlling Violence in the Grandstands
Journal: Police Magazine  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:44-50
Author(s): E Kiersh
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The causes of the growing violence and criminal behavior of crowds at sporting events are identified, and measures taken to increase crowd control by stadium security forces are described.
Abstract: Stadum security managers, psychologists who study problems of crowd control, and local police in several cities are concerned about the problem of crowd violence at big-time sports events. While some believe it is one more sign of declining social restraints and rising violence in many areas of American life, others believe the problem is a matter of too much marijuana and too much alcohol consumption. Police arrests of fans have risen sharply in several cities, and the players themselves on many teams are afraid of violent fans. Spokesmen for the clubs themselves, ever mindful of ticket revenue, tend to minimize the problem or ascribe it to such causes as 'media hype.' Excessive drinking, which usually turns law-abiding fans into lawbreakers, is being curbed at many stadiums by rationing beer, by establishing a cut-off time for beer sales, and by selling beer in smaller cups. The far larger, newer stadiums are more conducive to violent crowd behavior because the chaotic nature and facelessness of large crowds provides the individual with the emotional stimuli of mass movements, which can explode into anger once the individual feels safe or hidden. Measures taken by security forces at New Jersey's Meadowlands Stadium and at Boston's Fenway Park to prevent violence and disorderly behavior include facilitating traffic flow, opening parking lots early to spread the alcohol intake over a longer period, constant crowd surveillance by video scanners, bolstering the stadium security staff by hiring groups of muscular college students, and promoting courtesy among stadium staff personnel. No references are given.
Index Term(s): Collective violence; Crowd behavior; Crowd control; Riot control; Riot prevention; Sporting event violent behavior
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