Crowd Confrontation and Non-Lethal Weapons: A Literature Review and Conceptual Model


  1. Frini, A.
  2. Stemate, L.
  3. Larochelle, S.
  4. Toussaint, G.
  5. Lecocq, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
This technical memorandum is written in the context of the Crowd Control Modelling and Simulation Capability Technology Investment Fund Project. It presents a comprehensive literature review in the area of crowd confrontation involving non-lethal weapons, covering three areas that are essential to understand such systems. First, several aspects related to crowds were reviewed. They include crowd-specific definitions, phases of crowd development, psychological aspects and a list of determinants of crowd violence. Second, control forces doctrine documents concerning crowd confrontation missions were summarized to provide a better understanding of the objectives, modus operandi, equipment and legal considerations characterizing these missions, both from a military perspective and from a police perspective. Third, the area of non-lethal weapons was explored, including an enumeration of the types of non-lethal weapons and their areas of application, as well as an identification of some of the challenges that still exist in this domain. In addition to the literature review and based on it, an original model for the behaviour of an individual in a crowd in the presence of control forces was developed. This conceptual model is an attempt to link together into a coherent structure those variables that were identified by the literature review as significant factors influencing the behaviour of individuals in a crowd. The model is proposed as a starting point for the future research eff

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TM-2007-488 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Mar 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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