Violation of public order and mass panic

What do we see on the risk map?

Mass panic occurs at places where many people gather. These include events, festivals, football matches, etc. The risk map shows events attended by 5,000 or more people and held in a confined area. Violations of public order are, for instance, riots during demonstrations or violence at football matches. The risk map shows locations where large-scale violations of public order may occur.

What is the risk?

Panic in a crowd results in various risks. People may get caught up in a rush, be trampled under foot and suffocate. The cause is often something unexpected: a fire, a fight, a sudden change in the weather. Panic may occur if:

  • there are many people in a restricted area;
  • people are closed in (fences);
  • an incident occurs.

Public order violations often occur at some football matches. These may take place during the match on the terraces, around the stadium or during the transport of supporters to and from the match. There is a risk that you may become unintentionally involved.

Risks in your area?

What can you do yourself?

Before you enter a building, building complex or the site of an event, familiarise yourself with the emergency exists or escape routes.

If there is panic or riots break out:

  • stay away from the panic or the public order violation;
  • keep a safe distance;
  • try to avoid the jostling as far as possible;
  • follow the instructions of the emergency services on site;
  • offer your assistance.

In the case of evacuation:

  • always follow the direction most people are taking;
  • follow the instructions of the emergency services on site;
  • try not to panic.


  • What safety measures are there?

    Anyone wanting to organise an event must have a permit. A municipality issuing a permit imposes requirements. Measures must be taken for fire safety, emergency exits, first aid facilities and access to the site for the emergency services (fire brigade, police and ambulances). During events, the emergency services are on site or close by so that they can respond quickly to any incident.
    In the case of demonstrations or football matches, the police can collect information in advance. This allows them to obtain a picture of possible violent offenders. On the day in question, there is a visible police presence at strategic locations. The police will act if necessary. The Riot Police [ME] are sometimes called in.