Public Order and Crowd Management (Security during Summits) was the subject of CEPOL seminar (reference: 31/2008) held in Athens, Greece on 14-17 April 2008. Attracting 31 participants from 18 member states, the main objectives of the seminar were to:
- Improve international police cooperation during large scale events by establishing professional contacts with other counterparts within relevant European police services;
- Organise security measures and implement plans for crowd management during large scale events;
- Raise awareness of recent European developments, recommendations and guidelines;
- Allow participants to gain insight and knowledge regarding the practical usefulness of particular methods and tools and the evaluation of recent national and international events.
The seminar was led by six experts from four countries. The first day was dedicated to the Olympic Games 2004 and the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 (both events took place in Athens, Greece) and Eurobasket 2007 (which took place in Madrid, Spain). Participants visited the Greek Police headquarters Crisis Management Division.
The second day of the seminar was dedicated to the G8 Summit 2007 (which took place in Heiligendamm, Germany) and the UEFA Champions League Final 2007 (which took place in Athens, Greece). Participants also visited the Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA) in Athens.
To better involve participants, during the first two days an innovative workshop-come-exercise was held. It combined directed video scenarios of incidents and required the participants to react to real-time situations by considering a number of questions.
The third day of the seminar was dedicated to policing violent anti-globalization protesters and to discussing the lessons learned from the exercise. Participants also visited the Centre of Police Operations in the General Police Division of Attica, Athens.
On the final day, the workshop’s outcomes were reported and recommendations and conclusions drafted. Closing the seminar’s workings, the Director of the Hellenic Police Academy, Mr Vasileios Moysis, presented the certificates to the participants.
David Sumner, a participant from the United Kingdom, highlighted the superb and professionally managed seminar, the pride in Greece and Greek Policing, as well as having the opportunity to learn about European policing. He said: “You have taught us a lesson in welcome, friendship and police professionalism. Thank you all so much.”
One of the experts, Mr Jesus Gomez from Spain, stated: “The objectives of the course have been fulfilled completely. The seminar was of a very high level and the organisation was perfect. Thanks to the hospitality from the Greek CEPOL unit, I felt as if I was at home.”
The seminar was organised by the CEPOL unit of the Hellenic Police Academy and supported by Germany and Spain.