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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

The Importance of Debriefing and Mental Care Post-Crowd Control


In the demanding arena of crowd control, the aftermath of an operation is as crucial as its execution. The importance of debriefing and mental health care for security personnel in these situations cannot be overstated. This approach, rooted in a blend of economic reasoning, psychological understanding, and security expertise, recognises the complex nature of crowd dynamics and the impact of these events on those tasked with maintaining order.

Economists emphasise the interconnectedness of systems and individuals, a concept that extends to the realm of security operations. The post-event phase, including debriefing and mental care, is essential to maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of these systems.

The complexity of human psychology, as psychologists have discovered, emphasises the need for thorough debriefing and mental care to address the various psychological effects of crowd control situations. The importance of addressing the psychological aftermath of high-stress situations, such as crowd control operations, to prevent long-term mental health issues is vital.

The operational and psychological challenges faced by security personnel require the use of critical incident debriefings (CID). Debriefing sessions serve as a critical tool for reviewing actions, decisions, and outcomes, providing a structured framework for learning and improvement.

In training, I advocate for a holistic approach to post-operation procedures. This approach encompasses not only tactical review but also the mental and emotional well-being of the personnel involved. The inclusion of mental care as a standard practice in debriefing processes is essential for maintaining the long-term effectiveness and well-being of security teams.

Innovative techniques such as data analysis, simulation, and psychological assessment tools can greatly aid in the debriefing process, providing a more comprehensive and effective framework for review and care. However, we must ensure that when dealing with the human elements of psychology, these are just tools, not a panacea for direct attribution.

Acknowledging the general lawfulness of crowds can help in framing the events in a less adversarial light, which is beneficial for the mental health of security personnel. If personnel lose value in the human condition, they can give in to their base animal nature and that can be extremely harmful.

The importance of continuous learning and adaptation in security operations is vital to long-term survival. The debriefing process is a key component of this learning, offering opportunities for reflection, analysis, and growth.

Debriefing and mental health care are crucial aspects of post-crowd control operations. This comprehensive approach, integrating economic principles, psychological insights, and advanced security methodologies, underscores the need for systemic and humane treatment of security personnel. By addressing both the tactical and psychological aspects of crowd control, this approach ensures the ongoing effectiveness, resilience, and well-being of those tasked with maintaining public safety. From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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