Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice on Policing the Crowd

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Posted on 19 May 2016

Professor Clifford Stott from the School of Psychology at Keele University is collaborating with Dr TK Vinod Kumar, of Indiana University South Bend, USA, to co-edit a special issue of a leading policing journal. The special issue of Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice on Policing the Crowd, that will consider papers from both academics and practitioners (http://policing.oxfordjournals.org).
The crowd poses a range of complex and often contradictory challenges in terms of safety and security. For example, peaceful protest crowds are the manifestations of freedoms of expression and assembly, rights that lie at the heart of a functional democracy. However, as the ‘black lives matter’ protests demonstrate such protests can develop and evolve in direct response to the actions of the police, an institution charged with the maintenance of ‘public order’.
In contrast crowds can also be instrumental in the denial of rights to others and act as a platform for criminality. Yet, as the Hillsborough and Duisburg disasters in the UK and Germany demonstrate crowds can also pose serious dangers in terms of their physical dynamics. Crowds also emerge in the wake of natural disasters or can be the target of terrorist attacks and as such attention must be paid to detecting threats and harnessing resilience. Given this complexity how can police and other safety and security agencies be best prepared to manage crowd events? It is the case that policing approaches to crowds are influenced by a range of factors including police community relations, policy and guidance, principles on the use of force, the legal context, technologies, history and attention to human rights. Research in this area has therefore cut across a wide range of disciplines and encompassed an array of theoretical concepts and methodological approaches. Consequently, the special issue will have an truly interdisciplinary focus.
Those interested in contributing may submit both original and review articles of between 5-9000 words or book reviews of up to 2500 words. Interested authors should send a proposed title and abstract of 250 words to the guest editors by September 1st, 2016.  Submission deadline for completed manuscripts is December 15, 2016. Expected publication date is August 2017.