Eric holds the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service awarded by HM Queen Elizabeth II in January 2013. It followed a highly successful and varied career including firearms deployments, a five-year role as the police helicopter tactical commander, planning and engaging in major public order situations and ultimately planning and delivering events such as Notting Hill Carnival and New Year’s Eve Celebrations. His final 3 of 33 years’ service was planning and delivering the security for the Olympic Flame, Torch and Torchbearers on the 70-day route around the UK and Ireland.
Eric suffered a ‘Black Swan’ moment in 2015 when crowds at New Year’s Eve by far exceeded expectations and led to many dangerous situations. He sought further education in crowd management, rather than crowd control and did so outside the police service, eventually undertaking foundation and honours degrees in crowd safety management, one of a handful in the country at the time and still limited to less than 50 in the UK. He continued and still continues to study crowds from a theoretical, and practical perspective, matching observed behaviors to known aspects of psychology amongst crowds in order to take that learning into the classroom and to the events that he works during the events season.
He works on dozens of events each year, in the ‘field’ and in control rooms, planning and delivering safe events ranging from music festivals and concerts, Electronic Dance Events, motor sports and motor enthusiast events through to local authority run events such as Carnivals and summer shows. Events include British Summer Time in Hyde Park, Lewes Bonfires and both London and Brighton Prides to name but a few.
He is a lecturer at Buckingham New University for those undertaking the BA in crowd safety. He is an assessor for candidates on the NVQ Level 4 Spectator Safety Management Course. He has been a guest speaker at Universities, CIEH and the emergency planning college (for the last ten years). He has been the speaker at the American Event Safety Alliance national conference in Pennsylvania for the last two years and in April 2017 is the key note speaker for the same event to be held in Canada.
Finally, and of note to this course, he is the co-author of the UK Good Practice Guide to Working in Safety Advisory Groups launched through the Cabinet Office in 2015