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The summary of what is known about spectator violence in stadiums provides a very general overview. To understand your local spectator violence problem, you must combine this general knowledge with specific facts describing your local conditions. Using the spectator violence triangle as a framework for problem analysis, you may find other factors related to violence unique to the stadiums, event types, or staff used in your jurisdiction. Carefully analyzing your local problem will help you design an effective response strategy that fits your specific needs.
In addition to criminal justice agencies, the following groups have an interest in the problem of spectator violence in stadiums, and you should consult them when gathering information about the problem and responding to it.
Traffic and transportation agencies. Local traffic and transportation agencies are critical partners in understanding and addressing the problem of spectator violence. These agencies can change or add traffic signs, redirect or restrict traffic flow, alter traffic-light timing to reduce congestion, and change when public transportation is available to fans. For example, an agency can schedule public transportation to pick up fans immediately after an event ends, to reduce loitering.
Private service companies. Private companies associated with the venue may be responsible for providing services such as selling food and beverages, staffing and training ushers, providing additional security, and managing souvenir sales. Staff employed through these companies may have firsthand knowledge of factors that tend to instigate spectator violence.
EMS providers, ambulance services, local hospitals. Medical personnel often handle the aftermath of spectator violence and may recognize factors that contribute to such events. These agencies may be able to provide data to use in your problem analysis. As experts in injury prevention, they can also be useful advocates to implement responses to your local problem.
Fire services. Local fire department personnel often attend stadium events. In addition to knowledge gained through firsthand experience at the venue, they may be aware of structural features that may serve to increase crowd frustration or pose safety hazards.
Event promoters, performers. Event promoters and performers can share information concerning the characteristics of the crowds they are likely to draw. They may be able to estimate the number of spectators they expect to attract to the event. They can also describe spectator behaviors experienced during prior similar events.
Local government officials. The mayor, city council, city manager, and local prosecutors and judges may know of city ordinances you can use to regulate event activities. They may also know of instances when these ordinances have been successfully (or unsuccessfully) used in the past. Local government officials can also gather the resources necessary to implement costly responses.
Stadium owners and managers. Stadium owners and managers are critical partners in planning violence prevention strategies. These people are ultimately responsible for the safety of those who use their properties. They can implement necessary changes to the property and require that event promoters adjust staffing levels. They can require that particular violence-reduction strategies be used at individual events. These restrictions can be placed in the contractual agreements performers and their promoters and managers must sign. Owners and managers may also be able to provide data on the effectiveness of previous violence-reduction strategies or descriptions of previous incidents.
Insurance companies. Since insurance companies have an interest in reducing the number of claims associated with their insured properties, they may be willing to help develop and fund violence-reduction strategies. You can also use them to pressure uncooperative owners and managers to respond to police requests.
The community. Research suggests that host communities experience more assaults, vandalism, and disorderly conduct on event days.62 Residents and business owners in neighborhoods adjacent to the event can help to identify and respond to potential problems. These individuals may provide information about activities that often lead to aggression (e.g., scalping of fake tickets, illegal parking, unlawful vending that disrupts local business, disorderly or destructive behavior by spectators who park off stadium property). They can also act as a "force multiplier" by reporting such behavior to police, who can intervene before the problem escalates.
Below is a list of questions you should ask to better understand your stadium spectator violence problem. The answers to these questions will help you choose the most appropriate responses and develop an effective strategy to reduce incidents of spectator violence in your local stadiums.
Measurement allows you to determine to what degree your efforts have succeeded, and suggests how you might modify your responses if they are not producing the intended results. You should take measures of your problem before you implement responses, to determine how serious the problem is, and after you implement them, to determine whether they have been effective. You should take all measures in both the target area and the surrounding area. For more detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see the Problem-Solving Tools guide, Assessing Responses to Problems: An Introductory Guide for PoliceProblem-Solvers.
The following are potentially useful measures of the effectiveness of responses to spectator violence in stadiums:
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