Thirty-eight senior police officers from 24 member states took part in the first step of CEPOL ‘Public Order and Crowd Management’ course, held on 25-28 March 2008 at the Police Training Centre in Traiskirchen, Austria. Focussing on the upcoming European Football Championship 2008 (Euro 2008) which starts in June, the participants were able to share experiences as they all work in the area of public order and crowd management.
The course was developed and elaborated by .SIAK (Sicherheitsakademie) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and SPI (Swiss Police Institute). The course was also supported by experts from Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Greece. The first step of the course was organised prior to Euro 2008 and the same participants will come together for the second step, which will be held in Switzerland following the championship in August in Switzerland.
The course has been designed with inter-module assignments for the participants. On the one hand the participants are invited to scan their national media regarding policing within the hosting countries of Euro 2008, collect and summarise relevant press releases and articles. On the other hand, they are tasked with observing the ‘Public Viewing of Events’ and report possible incidents.
In addition the Euro 2008 which is taking place in Austria and Switzerland is also a perfect opportunity to examine police work and observe security measures during the preparation, planning, implementation and evaluation of the world’s third largest sporting event.
The main contents of the first step of the course included: Reflections on the European Football Championship 2004 held in Portugal; the Road to Euro 2008; Human Behaviour around Football Events; Operational, Tactical and Training Concepts; Public Viewing Events (PVE) during National and International Matches and Tournaments; the Role of the Media during Euro 2008; and the Evaluation Process and Areas of Examination Prior and During Euro2008.
One of the highlights of the course was a visit to the Ernst-Happel Stadium in Vienna – the stadium that will host the Euro 2008 final. Due to the fact a friendly match was taking place between Austria and Holland, meant participants had the opportunity to attend a local police command briefing, observe at firsthand fan behaviour in the city as well as at the match which attracted 40,000 football fans in total.