Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World Cup 2006: ‘Low Profile’ Policing Prevents ‘Hooliganism’

01.06.2006


Lessons learned from the behaviour of England fans and Portuguese police at ‘Euro2004’ include:

- Low profile policing is the most effective way to tackle English football hooliganism abroad.
- Unnecessary use of ‘riot police’ can lead to conflict.
- The low profile approach works by helping to support positive forms of English football fan identity


- Positive English fan identity improves relationships with other fans and the police whilst at the same time undermining the activities of hooligans.

Hooliganism has been referred to as the ‘English disease.’ With the World Cup 2006 less than 2 weeks away, the behaviour of England fans and the actions of the police in Germany will be under intense scrutiny. But in June during Euro2004 there were only minor incidents of ‘hooliganism’ in Portugal and none in match cities. So how can the almost total absence of violence among England fans in Lisbon be explained? And can the answer to this question help us to understand the key to peaceful matches this summer?

Research published today in the European Journal of Social Psychology provides answers to these important questions. The research, led by Dr. Clifford Stott, lecturer at the University of Liverpool, provides a scientific look at the behaviour of England football fans at Euro2004 in Portugal, focusing on key incidents in match cities and the two ‘riots’ in Albufeira .

One of Portugal’s two main police forces, the Policia de Seguranca Publica (PSP) which has jurisdiction over all of Portugal’s major cities was prepared to listen to these researchers. Consequently, they used the research to inform the development of their policing strategy for Euro2004 and invited the authors to conduct a scientific evaluation of the policing of the tournament. Their study argues that the PSP implemented a low-profile, information led approach which was very close to the model of good practice. The study demonstrates how, despite the fact that hooligan fans were present in Lisbon, rioting did not develop because of the low profile approach and ‘self policing’ among England fans.

Strategies employed by the PSP included:

- Low profile policing using officers in normal police uniform and keeping riot police out of sight.
- Uniformed police officers present throughout the crowd to be friendly toward fans whilst monitoring for problems.
- Small groups of plain clothes officers working within crowds to act against individuals becoming disorderly.

It is argued that because of these tactics England fans saw their collective relationship with the police as positive. As a consequence they began to see their relationships with the police and with other fans as friendly and saw themselves as antagonistic to those violent fans seeking to disrupt these positive relations. The authors argue that it was this self policing that was critical in preventing major rioting in the match cities. Dr. Stott says, “because of this psychology England fans began to self police and it was this social psychological process that prevented disturbances.”

In contrast, Portugal’s second Police Force the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) which has jurisdiction over Portugal’s small towns including Albufeira employed a different strategy. The GNR did not employ these low profile tactics and were more reliant upon the use of riot police to quell minor incidents. As such when forced to intervene in Albufeira they did so against England fans in general. This had the effect of creating and supporting antagonisms between England fans which in turn supported the influence of hooligans and undermined those England fans who wished to prevent problems.

Dr. Stott says, “the ‘low profile’ policing in Lisbon during Euro2004 appears to have provided a context for a very positive form of England fan identity in match cities. This identity was defined in terms of non violent fandom, positive social relations with the police and similarity with fans of other nations. But perhaps more importantly this psychology was related to ‘self policing’ because England fans wanted to protect this positive situation. In contrast, policing in Albufeira was relatively ‘high profile’ at critical times and resonated with England fans’ previous experiences of ‘indiscriminately violent’ police action. This set in motion a very negative psychology which supported the development of violence.”

The research not only provides evidence of the effectiveness of a ‘low profile’ policing approach but argues for the idea that this type of policing is an effective long term solution.

Dr. Stott states, “What this study does is recognise the way in which the PSP’s low profile approach helped marginalise hooligan behaviour. By maintaining the legitimacy of the police the PSP promoted a situation in which fans began to isolate and marginalise those seeking disorder. Our science shows that it is this kind of positive psychology that is essential to preventing major riots. The findings, of course, have important implications for those planning policing strategies for the World Cup 2006 in June and the European Championships in 2008.”

Polly Young | alfa
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ejsp

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>