Training package for crowd protection based on human factor

By Chanan Graf  RailSEC

In recent years the world has faced an increasing tendency of terror organizations to carry out attacks in urban environments.

These attacks particularly targeted large scale events and mass gatherings, such as music concerts, festivals, or street fairs. Recent attacks were ended with mass casualties among civilians and LEA personnel.

Mass gatherings, in their nature are considered “soft” targets: they attract a lot of people and are intended to allow mass crowds to participate. Terrorists consider these kinds of events as a prime opportunity to target many individuals at an event that usually carries media attention, and the possibility of detection is low. Some of these events, such as street fairs or public park concerts, do not have designated entry points, where security screenings and controls can be conducted.

The main challenge of LEAs is to screen hundreds and sometimes thousands, of individuals and their belongings, in a short time during the entrance process, and during the event itself over several hours, and to identify those individuals, or their belongings, that might pose a security threat.

In order to tackle this issue, one of the tools and goals of the LETSCROWD project is to develop a training package that will provide trainees (LEAs) with the tools, skills and knowledge to identify indicative behaviour of individuals, or the presence of objects, that stand out in a suspicious way within the crowd.

The training package provides an overview on the methodology used for the development of the training modules and provides details of the proposed modules that will be delivered in a demonstrator; this will teach how to identify abnormal behaviors, and how to extract a suspicious behavior from a set of situations and characteristics of an event; these two factors together, can help to distinguish an abnormal behavior from a normal one, according to the union of a multitude of variables such as: date, time of day, holiday or not, type of celebration, type of public attending, heterogeneity of the public, number of people and type of activity (concert, demonstration, celebration, performance, spontaneous meeting, religious celebration, patronal celebrations, etc.). That’s because an abnormal behavior, can be considered as normal under certain circumstances, and vice versa.

The training package developed within the framework of the project includes 5 modules:

  • The Terror Threat to Mass Gathering Events
  • Suspicious signs in behavior and appearance & Body Language.
  • Terror attacks using different types of explosives and their identification by human factor.
  • Methods of searching and handling of suspicious objects.
  • Communicating with Multicultural Crowd in mass gathering

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