Eric is the director of Gentian Events, a Crowd Safety Management Company established in 2009. He has been involved in Crowd Safety for 15 years although working with crowds since 1980. He was the planning lead for Notting Hill Carnival and London New Year’s Eve from 2005 to 2010, with viewing audiences of up to 1 million and 450k respectively. His final ‘crowd’ job in the Met Police was as ‘Chief of Staff’ for planning and delivery of the 70-day London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, viewed by an estimated 14 million people. He was the only member of the team engaged from inception through delivery, conclusion and debrief and was involved in the selection of every member of it.
He has a BA honours degree in Crowd Safety Management and as well as writing and delivering crowd safety plans, he trains others undergoing the same degree at Buckinghamshire New University. He wrote and still delivers the Crowd Movement, Modelling and Management course (CM3) for the Emergency Planning College and teaches courses privately for emergency services, local authorities and private companies where crowded places require careful crowd management in both normal and emergency situations. These have included Westfield Shopping Centre, Harry Potter World and The Merlin group. He supports the American and Canadian Event Safety Alliances, re-writing their Crowded Places Guidance and supporting their attempts to ‘codify’ the guidance to enshrine it in law. He is also delivering crowd safety training in both the USA and Canada.
He has spent much of the summer supporting clients with the crowd safety challenges caused by the recent spate of terrorist attacks, as well as working with NaCTSO to provide an appropriate response and advice to those emerging threats. He has undertaken safety reviews of complex events such as Lewes Bonfires, Edinburgh Hogmanay and currently May Morning in Oxford. Current ‘live’ operational commitments include two of the above, Lewes and Hogmanay as well as Durham Lumiere.
He is a member of the UKCMA strategic working group, a Strategic Associate of the Emergency Planning College, working directly with government departments, an assessor of those undertaking the NVQ Level 4 Spectator Safety Qualifications and was the co-author of the UK Good Practice Guide to Working in Safety Advisory Groups, a document now deemed best practice for those in the role.