European police commanders and intelligence officers attended a professional development course as part of an innovative training project sponsored by UEFA and the EU.
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The latest phase of a unique training project for European police commanders and intelligence officers – sponsored by UEFA and the European Union (EU) – has been launched in the Netherlands.
The five-day Pan European Football Police Training Project session in Ossendrecht brought together 50 police officers from 20 countries, all of whom are employed in dealing with the policing of major football events.
For the last four years, UEFA's stadium and security unit and their partners in the pan-European Think Tank on Policing Football have driven this scheme forward as part of a joint working programme. The latest event followed on from two successful pilot events organised by the UEFA stadium and security unit in March 2011, which targeted Polish and Ukrainian audiences in the run-up to UEFA EURO 2012
By the time the programme is completed in autumn 2012, a total of 250 police officers will have undergone training in a series of five professional development courses held across Europe.
The scheme seeks to develop students' awareness of the challenges of football event safety through a combination of multimedia presentations on key themes, practical observations at major football matches and exposure to a specially tailored interactive scenario-based learning environment. The project has been designed to incorporate UEFA's guiding principles of safety and security.
The interactive application employed for the programme was devised by recognised experts and tests the decision-making abilities of participants using incidents from UEFA tournaments. The application immerses students into scenarios under the most realistic and challenging circumstances possible.
In addition to the deployment of this technology, the course is enhanced by the involvement of a number of recognised European experts in international police cooperation, stadium management and football operations.
The delivery is supported by up-to-date academic theory in crowd management. By the end of the project, those taking part will have been exposed to the best practices available in safety and security in the football context, and these will be taken forward into their operations at future UEFA matches.