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Operational Considerations for Crowds and Mobs PowerPoint Presentation
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Operational Considerations for Crowds and Mobs

Operational Considerations for Crowds and Mobs

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Operational Considerations for Crowds and Mobs

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  1. Operational ConsiderationsforCrowds and Mobs Sid Heal, Senior Instructor

  2. Never accept a confrontation on the terms offered! 11

  3. Prevention vs. Intervention • Historically, military has focused on intervention strategies, while law enforcement has focused on prevention strategies • Subtle differences in problem definition can have profound impacts on problem resolution • Mobs and riots are more easily prevented than controlled 10

  4. Avoiding Riots • What causes a riot and what starts a riot are distinctly and fundamentally different. • Cause of Riots • Major Social Problems • Racial Bigotry, Social or Economic Disparity, Perceived Injustice • Start of Riots • A catalyst of some sort (almost always by authorities) • Always identified in retrospect, consequently they have limited value for predicting or avoiding riots 9

  5. Crowds and Mobs • Evolutionary in nature — they evolve, rather than appear • Even spontaneous outbursts tend to follow somewhat predictable patterns • Crowds and mobs require different responses • Crowds require control • Mobs require intervention • Early intervention can bethe key factor in control • Requires at least a rudimentary an understanding ofcrowd and mob behavior 8

  6. Debunking Stereotypes • Crowds are not homogeneous entities • Crowds are largely made up of “companion clusters” • Most of the people arrive, act, and leave in small groups • Crowds do not cripple individual cognition • Behavior is always objective oriented • Participants seldom act in unison • Even when they do, the acts are simple and short lived • Participants are not unanimous in their motivation 7

  7. Crowds vs. Mobs Crowds Mobs • Require Substantial • Easily Provoked Provocation • Members retain • “Mob Mentality”Individuality (Collectively Empowered) • Retain Social • Breakdown of Constraints Social Controls • Accept Authority • Belligerent and Adversarial • Constitutionally Protected • A Menace to Society • Require Control • Require Intervention 6

  8. Typical Mob Composition • Predominately males in late teens through late twenties • Weapons are primitive and usually “at hand” • Leaders are more charismatic than competent • Focus is usually ad hoc with targets of opportunity rather than preplanned • Initial focus is usually property rather than people • While authorities are targets, they are not usually first, probably because of fear of retribution 5

  9. Phases of a Gathering • The Assembling Process (best opportunities for intervention) • Movement from different locations to a common location • May be Impromptu or Organized Mobilization • Most riots start after working hours and on weekends • The Gathering • Collection of individuals and groups at a common location • Exhibit about 40 elementary forms of collective action • The Dispersal Process (most commonly neglected) • Movement of people from a common location to one or more alternate locations • Routine, Emergency and Coerced Dispersals 4

  10. Shaping the Battlespace • People are comfort seeking creatures • Muddy ground, wet grass, “porta-potties,” sprinklers, etc. • Centers of Interest • Bands, food vendors, speakers, side-shows, parking • Liaisons with all interests (including adversarial) • Mission Tasking as a deconfliction measure • News Media • Inform the public • Prevent misconceptions 3

  11. Critical Mass • A heuristic tool to aid tactical commanders • Uses three factors to estimate volatility • Size — the larger the crowd, the more difficult it is to control • Splinter groups will nearly always exist • Increases the “fog” in decision making • Emotion — the more emotion, the more spontaneous and irrational the members tend to be • Commitment — the more commitment, the more predisposed are the members to attaining their ends • These factors exist, and interact with one another, to a greater or lesser extent in every gathering 2

  12. Rules of Engagement • Prevents a single individual from committing the entire organization to an undesired course of action • Provides the commander a means of control by retaining authority • Defining “sufficient provocation” • Authority to arrest • Authority to intervene • Authorized weaponsand munitions 1

  13. If you find yourself ina fair fight?You didn’t prepare properly! Sid Heal909-732-8325 H9692@Verizon.net