Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

7/7 Survivors Help Change Way Crowds Are Handled

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

7/7 Survivors Help Change Way Crowds Are Handled

Article excerpt

Byline: DANNY BUCKLAND

SURVIVORS of the 7 July terrorist attacks are helping scientists plan how best to deal with crowds in emergencies.

A team from Sussex University hopes to change the way police deal with panicking people and will publish its findings next month.

The researchers interviewed 200 evacuated from the Tube during the bombings, which claimed 52 lives and left hundreds injured.

Based on their testimonies the scientists will say that lives can be saved if the authorities view crowds as intelligent masses rather than threatening mobs.

Dr Chris Cocking, who led the researchers, said: "Crowds are rarely trusted to behave or police themselves. They are considered at best a hindrance and at worst a potential threat.

"They should be trusted with more information because crowds generally behave better than expected. There has been this image over the past 150 years that crowds behave in an emotional, irrational and unintelligent way but we believe that to be largely untrue. …

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