This project was conceptualized in early 2014, only a few months after the tragic death of a Djurgården supporter who died as a consequence of a violent incident between opposing fans just before the opening match of the Allsvenska season in Helsingborg. The death highlighted the fact the Sweden has significant safety and security issues that must be confronted and underlined that various stakeholders have a responsibility to act on the issue of football related ‘disorder’.
In the circumstances of such high profile incidents there is a real danger that the pressure to respond can create heavy-handed security responses that are ultimately counter productive. It is therefore critically important to create evidence led approaches if the issues are to be identified and confronted. ENABLE is a project that has been designed to meet this requirement.
It has been demonstrated that science led and dialogue based solutions are an effective way forward for approaches to crowd management. The aim of ENABLE is to build on these previous research and theory led interventions to create and sustain a climate of evidence gathering and analysis within Sweden. It is the project’s intention that the research it develops will flow directly into solutions focused upon democratic forms of policing that promote human rights and revolve around security measures oriented toward the facilitation of visitors’ preferences about what constitutes a pleasant and entertaining match experience. At the same time the project will examine ways of developing adequate safety and security measures that protect fans from situations that actively threaten them.