Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge:


Mass gatherings, especially in urban environments, have a potential risk of escalation and therefore may pose a threat to the safety of humans and the security of the society. LEA representatives as well as people in the crowd and in the neighborhood are regularly injured, sometimes seriously, during  the course of such events. Hitherto approaches of LEAs for de-escalation often lack the capabilities to defuse rising tensions with minimal intrusion techniques.


Research is needed to identify, test and assess new means of protecting citizens in crowd environments  deteriorating into aggresive scenarios or even riots, such as sound, smell, communication, etc.. These means should be administered locally and with high precision in places where crowd parameters are reaching critical values regarding the safety of citizens. Crowd management tactics that are based on containment and controlled break-up by force could be replaced by festival tactics where one or more disrupting elements are removed with high precision and minimum intrusion before large scale escalation happens.


This can only be done if crowd management instruments are improved significantly with new sensors and processing capabilities. A strong societal dimension component should be at the core of the legal and ethical rules of operation as a prerequisite to ensure the acceptance of citizens of the instruments.




The proposals should aim to develop novel technological tools for public order management to help LEAs protect citizens while de-escalating public unrest (especially in cases of influence by alcohol and/or drugs). These tools should be altogether efficient and harmless and could use, for example lights, noise or scents. They should also: enable to focus on a specific group or a single individual inside a crowd;  be difficult to counter; and have minimum to none impact on bystanders.

The proposal should include the largest possible number of LEA representatives in the consortium.


Expected impact:


The project should help to protect citizens by developing minimum intrusion and efficient  tools in order to prevent escalation and severe injuries and casualties. The results of the proposals should lead to the elaboration of more effective and less intrusive police actions that significantly reduce the risk of escalation during mass gatherings and increase the level of urban security and its perception among the citizens.


Type of Action: Research and Innovation Actions

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