So that the escape does not turn into a deadly trap: The police want to prevent catastrophes like the Duisburg Love Parade with new software. The program is to be used at the EM 2024.

Stuttgart (dpa/lsw) – A terrorist attack on a Christmas market, a lightning strike on a festival site, an explosion in a concert hall: such horror scenarios can cause crowds to panic. In order to avoid this and to calculate escape routes, Baden-Württemberg wants to campaign for the large-scale use of new software at the conference of interior ministers (IMK) beginning on Wednesday: “Escape” is the name of the program that was developed with the participation of the Stuttgart police. In order to prevent catastrophes like the Duisburg Love Parade, the police want to use it to simulate the movement of crowds on the computer before major events.

As the German Press Agency found out, Interior Minister Thomas Strobl wants to use the IMK to ensure that the software is soon used in regular police operations in a further developed form. The program is to be used for the first time at the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany, at all ten venues, as the CDU politician said.

How can as many people as possible get off the premises as quickly and safely as possible? Where are there bottlenecks and bottlenecks? With the software, flows of people can be simulated on a large scale, even from events taking place at the same time, and integrated into the operational planning. According to the ministry, such a tool is not available to the police when optimizing escape routes. After the EM 2024, the software should “basically be an integral part of police deployment planning”.

It is a challenge for the police when an enormous number of visitors have to leave a place quickly at large events, said Strobl. “The tragic images of the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg are still present to many of us.” Police operations could be planned even better with the software. “This is a very important building block so that major events become even safer and the police can control a corresponding situation even better.”

At the conference of interior ministers, Baden-Württemberg also wants to push for funding for the project from the Federal Ministry of Research. If that doesn’t work, the interior ministries of the federal and state governments should support the project financially, according to the Southwest.

On July 24, 2010, 21 people were crushed in a crowd at the only entrance and exit of the Loveparade in Duisburg. At least 652 Loveparade visitors were injured at the time.