Insects tip off police about crowd control

August 23, 2002

Analysis of swarming insects is being used to help ensure the safety of the crowds expected at this weekend's Notting Hill Carnival.

A team of geographers at University College London has developed a way of modelling and predicting crowd behaviour, inspired in part by studies of insect trails and swarms.

The system can pick out potential problem areas and advise police on where to shore up or relax controls. The model has been used to test six alternative routes for the carnival and to work out where best to position safety barriers.

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