The concept of “crowd guard” born from the Tragedy in Japan




In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, 156 young people were crushed to death due to overcrowding when they went to the downtown area with the intention of going to a Halloween party. The 4 metres x 32 metres = 128 square metres space was packed with people, and there was no space for the lungs to move when breathing. There were places where people were piled up in seven layers, but most of them died standing up because they couldn’t breathe.
Every year in Japan, young people dress up in costumes and go out to Shibuya in Tokyo to make noise at intersections and streets, too. Unlike events, there are no organizers. Four years ago, a police car was overturned and young people danced on top of it. Also, in 2001, there was an accident in Hyogo Prefecture where people on their way to see fireworks gathered together and a large number of people were piled up due to crowd pressure, resulting in 11 fatalities. Also, similar accidents had happened in the past, and the Japanese police were aware of the importance of the stage before an accident occurred. Using the 2001 accident, the Hyogo Prefectural Police established the concept of ‘’crowd guard,’’ and published a handbook that systematically summarizes theory and practice. In this column, I would like to introduce the key concepts, theories, and strategies that can be used as a reference from the handbook.



Concept šSystematic theoryšEngineering experiment šPreparation of manual

Not limited to this case, the government must first define the concept and define the applicable scope, then build a theory, and decide how to deal with it. Therefore, the handbook begins with an explanation of the concept of “crowd.”
Large numbers of people acting for their personal purpose of entertainment have gathered or created crowds on their way to other places. This is the concept of “crowd”. Indeed, the characteristic of the accident in Seoul was that it occurred by accident on a public road where an unspecified number of people go and go, unlike security guards in a closed space. Since there is no organizer, no common purpose such as labour movement or political activity, there is no ordering organization or authority. Nobody can predict what will happen, and nobody has a plan for what to do. Therefore, when plenty of people come together to form crowds, the risk of the unpredictability of what they will do or what will happen increases.
“Crowd Guard” to guard crowds against such risks means that when there is a risk of an accident or confusion occurring, the activities of the police force will help alleviate congestion, prevent crime, regulate traffic, etc. to prevent accidents. The gist of it is as follows.
Accurate situational judgment,
Promotion of a security system that assumes all kinds of situations (do not let the crowd stay, calm down, early response, etc.),
Proactive guidance and advice to organizers and other stakeholders,
Ensuring cooperation with the organizer and related organizations.

13 people per square metre are the limit of crowd density

What density is the crowd dangerously stuck?
The formula for rejecting the crowd density is;
Number of people in the crowd ÷ Area occupied by the crowd = Crowd density
There are results measured by university engineering department professors. That’s 13 people per square meter.

Add clothing and bag volume to this, and the limit appears to be even lower.
In the case of Itaewon, Seoul, 40 m x 3.2 m = 128m2
Looking at the photos, it seems that there were more than 15 people per square meter.
Moreover, both sides of the slope were allowed up and down. It is easy imagining how the crowd was crammed to the point that it was impossible to breathe while people were jostling each other as like making SUSHI.

Necessary preliminary survey, planning and implementation

When an unspecified number of people are expected to gather at an event, the police who have jurisdiction over the area conduct preliminary inspections of the site and survey the topography. Investigate the flow lines of how people move from public transportation such as slopes, road widths, and stations. For example, if the street spreads radially or has a sloping mortar shape, people tend to stay at the bottom of the mortar because people are coming and going out at the same time. Tend. In order to avoid crowding, it is necessary to create a flow of people and adjust the volume according to traffic rules. While doing such a simulation, Police should make a plan for a security system such as where and how many police officers are needed, what time to enter the scene, where to set up a control line, etc.
It is also important to cooperate with surrounding private businesses. Have a discussion with the chairperson of the shopping district about whether the stalls will be set up in a certain place or not. The chairperson informs each shopkeeper of the matters discussed with the police. Private networks increase the effectiveness of security.
Well, on the day of the event, there are some things that you should keep in mind. That is the “understanding” and “cooperation” of the crowd. For example, when a police officer says to a crowd, “Please go this way” or “Wait a minute”, the effect can be demonstrated only if the people understand its intention and cooperate with them. It is important to have a sense of “guiding” rather than “cracking down” or “regulating”. In order to shorten the distance between judicial institutions and the public, it is important to establish a habit of greeting each other on a daily basis and taking care of each other. In a country without it, it would be difficult to guard against crowds.

“DJ Police” was born in Japan!

There is a method I would like to introduce as a way to guide the crowd safely and smoothly. It’s a method that a police officer named DJ Police leads a crowd. There is no visible equipment but just a method that was born by pure chance.
It was 4 June 2013, the night Japan’s national football team concluded to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. A riot police officer in charge of security (involved in a task that often takes stricter measures than ordinary police officers) calls for rules with a sense of humour at the Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo, Japan, which is crowded with many young people.
A male officer holding a microphone on the top of the command car said, “I don’t want to get angry on such a good day. We are teammates. Please listen to what your teammates’ Players say.” “Please progress slowly with teamwork like the Japanese national team. If you got injured, your participation in the World Cup will have a bad aftertaste”.” Police officers with angry faces don’t mean to hate you. I’m happy to participate in the World Cup, too,” he said with humour.
The call was met with cheers and laughter from the streets. “Hi Cops!” a cry broke out. The police officer immediately replied, “I’m happy to cheer you on, but I’d be happier if you all stepped onto the sidewalk. “ The figure of the police officer calling out to the crowd with a microphone was leaked on the Internet, and it came to be called “DJ Police”.
The morning has come without any arrests or injuries. And DJ Police and another female police officer won the Superintendent General Award. DJ Police was admired for bringing order to the crowd with his voice rather than his weapon. Polices across the country have seen an increase in the number of young cops who hope to become DJ police.
Of course, because Japan and South Korea do not have the prevalence of weapons, the police will not stop you even if you hide your face under your mask, and you will not be suspected of hiding a weapon under your clothes. It can be said that “crowd guard” is possibly implemented only in a country with good public order and democracy.

Source: ( Crowd Guard Guide) ( DJ Police)




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