University of Twente Student Theses


Pre-crisis preparation: an organizational perspective on crowd management at dutch security regions

Verweij, C.E. (2013) Pre-crisis preparation: an organizational perspective on crowd management at dutch security regions.

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Abstract:In recent years, some large crowd events in the Netherlands have turned into disaster, often causing fatalities, injuries and material damage. Scholars have tried to understand crowd behaviour in order to better prepare for such kinds of incidents. Until now, research has mainly been focused on psychological processes. However, the role of organizational structures of the involved emergency services should not be underestimated in successful pre-crisis crowd management. This thesis therefore focuses on the success of organizational structures at Dutch security Regions regarding crowd management. The research question of this thesis is: “What is the current state of affairs concerning organizational aspects of pre-crisis crowd management at security regions in the Netherlands?” In order to answer the research question, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with crowd management experts at the four security regions that entail the largest and most amounts of events in the Netherlands. The reason these regions have been selected is attributed to the likability these expert will hold the most information, and expert opinion on the subject of crowd management, based on their experience. The results of this thesis indicate that: - Security regions are familiar with the term crowd management, but have not always implemented a crowd management strategy in their pre-crisis preparedness for large events. - all regions have received a national risk scan, however, not all regions have implemented the risk scan properly. - the current risk scan (and/or matrix) does not provide a good structure for classifying risks. - Advices from the security region towards the involved municipality are not always based upon the indicated risks. Also, the individual partners often write these advices without discussing them inter-disciplinary. - Organizational structures can become too complex to work with when involving a large event. - Municipalities have conflicting goals, namely a marketing goal and a public safety goal. These goals might become conflicting when the municipality plays an important role in organizing the event (like kings day e.g.). - Two conflicting command structures become active when involving a large risk: the GBO and the GRIP structure. Having only one structure of command is key for successful crisis management in general. - Event organizations, municipalities and security regions all point to each other for being accountable for public safety at an event. The main reason for this according to the experts is a lack of finances. The lack of clarity in responsibility structures is a large threat in its own. - Especially small cities believe incidents will not happen to them. They do not prepare sufficiently for large events in their municipality. - In most of the interviewed regions, multiple scripts were being used by the emergency organizations. The lack of constancy in these scripts is a big threat to public safety. - Board members and municipality board members are often misinformed about the risks of certain events. The information board members receive is not based on the risk matrix indicated risks. Misinforming the decision-makers is a big threat of public safety. - None of the regions have a general tool to evaluate their preparative measures for an event. Also, not every region evaluates their events. - Social media is perceived a great benefit for intelligence means; however, none of the regions has implemented the use of social media in their crowd management policies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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