Systematic observation of barroom incidents in a large Montreal venue
Under embargo until: 2018-01-01
Series/Report no.Security journal;Vol. 30, no 1
On the basis of previous studies by Macintyre and Homel and Winlow et al, this article utilizes systematic observation in order to describe and understand the pattern of incidents on a micro level – the barroom. Systematic observation combines ethnography with a quantitative outlook. This research counts, locates and describes incidents within a single building over a substantial period of time. For a period of 258 nights of observation in a Canadian barroom, bouncers completed reports on each intervention and provided specific information regarding what happened, when and where within the venue. We can distinguish (1) incivilities and violations of house rules, (2) violent criminal behavior, and (3) non-violent criminal behavior. Incidents are unevenly distributed, producing internal hotspots and ‘rush hours’. Shifting hotspots are evident, moving from the entrance and table areas earlier in the evening towards the ‘carousing’ zone (bars, dance floor and its proximity) later in the night. The barroom is highly dynamic, with long peaceful periods interrupted by sudden incidents. The barroom’s routine activities modulate the work of its security personnel. Knowing these internal patterns can support and guide responsible drinking programs and situational crime prevention initiatives.
Geoffrion, S., Felson, M., Boivin, R. & Ouellet F. (2017). Systematic observation of barroom incidents in a large Montreal venue. Security Journal, 30(1), 123-141.