Epsom Downs Racecourse is the home of one of the most iconic events in the British sporting and social calendar - The Derby Festival. Each year horses and riders travel from countries across the globe to test themselves against the historic course, with the event attracting thousands of fans. With crowds of over 20,000 attending each day, the course's security managers use a CCTV network consisting of temporary and permanent cameras, with all camera video transmitted via NVT
UTP Hybrid Video technology to provide a backbone for security and safety operations during the festival.
With a history of over 200 years, the world-famous Derby is the main event for the Epsom Downs course, comprising a week of races, including the famous ‘Ladies Day' and culminating in the illustrious Derby race. However, the course also hosts a variety of other events throughout the year, such as concerts, exhibitions, weddings and corporate events. These are covered by a permanent CCTV system consisting of 43 cameras, recently upgraded to encompass the newly built Duchesses Stand and installed by Mobile CCTV
. Don Wetherell, Managing Director of Mobile CCTV explains: "As part of the preparations for the new season, to facilitate Epsom Racecourse's need to cover all aspects of the new stand with CCTV, we fitted 22 additional PTZ mini-dome cameras, covering its restaurants, bars, stairwells, corridors, seating, and external areas."
"We have used NVT's UTP video technology for many years, initially installing it exclusively on our temporary surveillance applications. For this permanent installation, we were briefed to minimise the physical impact of the camera transmission cabling on the architecture of the new stand, whilst providing the best possible camera scene coverage and video quality back to the onsite control room. We knew using NVT UTP would fit the bill perfectly and we installed an NVT NV-16PS10-PVD (Power, Video & Data) Hub and two NVT NV-4PS10-PVD Hubs in a secure room within the stand, and star-wired the cameras via Cat5 UTP cable to each location. The 22 PTZ mini-dome cameras were equipped with NVT NV-218A-PVD Transceivers. Using NVT UTP Hybrid Video transmission meant we weren't constrained on camera locations, and could place each unit to provide the maximum and most useful scene coverage, and therefore the most economical installation. Had we been using coax, this would not have been the case due to its inflexibility and bulk when compared to Cat5 multi-pair cable."
"Using NVT's PVD technology also allowed us to save money on not having to install fused spurs at each camera point. With the NVT PVD hub providing low-voltage power, the cost of the electrical installation at each camera point was negated and passed on to the customer."
"During the installation we also included several ‘spare' UTP pairs at locations throughout the stand to provide a level of future proofing. This means that at any time in the future, we can simply connect any required additional cameras into the spare pairs quickly and easily, with minimal disruption to both the architecture of the stand and the daily running of the site.
The spare UTP pairs will also allow any existing static cameras on the network to be upgraded to a fully-functional dome if required, simply by using one of the spare pairs for data communication."
|For Derby week the security, and health and safety management is expanded to cope with the need|
The permanent surveillance cameras are monitored from the onsite control room throughout the season's events, including the usual horse racing meetings in the summer, in addition to functions, weddings and concerts. However, during large meetings such as the flagship Epsom Derby week when the course is awash with visitors, Don and the team are once again onsite providing the eyes and ears of the security, safety, and management teams, as he explains: "During Derby week the normal security, and health and safety management is expanded to cope with the extra visitor numbers and sheer size of the festival. Each year, we construct a temporary control room that houses all the emergency and event commanders. Here, all police, fire, ambulance and security service controllers can access a comprehensive overview of the site via large 50" plasma and projection displays, receiving pictures from all 43 permanent cameras, and 20 additional temporary camera positions installed especially for the event, again all transmitted back to the temporary control room via NVT UTP Hybrid Video technology."
With 10 years experience of supplying temporary CCTV cover at the meeting, Don and the Mobile CCTV team are constantly fine-tuning the design and layout of the system, to suite the changing needs and architecture of the week's events. Epsom management aim to increase the coverage and security presence each year, therefore decreasing the police presence required at the event. This not only makes sound financial sense but also increases the visible presence of the security infrastructure at the event, making the public feel safer, and acting as a visible deterrent for any potential anti-social behaviour.
Mobile CCTV has used NVT's UTP video technology for temporary surveillance applications
"Using NVT UTP Hybrid Video transmission over a temporary Cat5 cable infrastructure, we were able to integrate the additional cameras into the existing system. To do this we employed NVT NV-208A-M Video Transceivers and NVT NV-1662 Active Receiver Distribution Amplifier Hubs, redirecting the display and control of the entire combined camera network to the specially constructed event control room," continues Don. "Here, the multiple security and emergency services work together, reacting to the high-resolution images they receive of any incidents and crowd movement. Using this unparalleled site overview they can then direct stewards, security or medical staff to an incident, whilst giving them a constant running commentary on the situation around them. This can be vital in instances such as a visitor taken ill in a busy area of the ground, where getting them the right medical attention quickly is vital. Using the NVT Hybrid Video images, they can quickly determine a casualty's condition, picking them out of the crowd and zooming in for accurate detail to dispatch the correct level of assistance straight to the scene."
The CCTV system also becomes a vital tool at the conclusion of each day's meeting. "In the morning, people arrive over a period of three to four hours," explains Don. "However, when the last race of the day has concluded, they all leave at once. During this period of the day the infrastructure is under the most strain, and minor incidents such as a fainting can soon become a major problem in large crowd movements, so using the CCTV's visual information to identify and muster the correct response is vital."
Although, monitored throughout the day, keeping up to date on crowd movements and flow rates becomes increasingly important at this time. The unparalleled overview of the entire site via the camera system allows security staff to make key decisions on people movement before any congestion may occur. This means that stewards on the ground can be informed of an approaching crowd and prepare their exit points accordingly, or re-direct an approaching mass of visitors towards another exit. "Using information from the crystal clear images means this kind of pro-active surveillance can be used to keep race goers safe whilst they enjoy a good day out," adds Don.
NTV's pro-active surveillance can be used to keep race goers safe whilst they enjoy a good day out
Using NVT UTP Hybrid Video transmission in both the permanent and temporary CCTV systems has afforded Epsom Downs Racecourse the flexibility to adjust and fine tune their system year-on-year, evolving alongside the Derby Festival to provide an effective key-stone for all security, and health and safety management throughout the busy week. Don concludes: "We use NVT UTP on all our temporary installation projects, from covering major motorsport events such as the World Superbike Championship, to the Chelsea Flower Show. With fantastic video quality over extended distances, combined with unparalleled ease of installation and set-up, NVT's equipment provides us with the perfect solution for our high-performance, temporary surveillance installations."