|With Avigilon’s HD surveillance solution, the arena’s security team manages IP cameras that oversee piazza, stands, parking lot, etc.|
From a 24-hour control room inside First Direct Arena, the security team manages their high-definition surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) ™ technology. With the Avigilon solution in place, the security team at the arena is able to manage dozens of IP cameras that oversee the piazza, stands, parking lot, concession areas and entry points. Operators of the Avigilon system use ACC Mobile to view live and recorded footage remotely from their smartphones and tablets. With Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs), the team is able to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.
With the user-friendly and intuitive ACC software, the security team at First Direct Arena is able to monitor and manage crowd activity - both in the stands and throughout the exterior of the venue. The advanced search functions of ACC help the security team locate and accurately assess recorded footage in minutes. With the Avigilon ACC platform, the security team is able to monitor a large number of IP cameras and record footage without freezing or slowing down the system.
- Improve crowd management
- Reduce investigation time
- Accurately assess incidents in the stands
- Protect against false liability claims
Avigilon HD system to protect patrons and improve crowd management
For decades, Leeds was the largest city in the United Kingdom (UK) without a major venue to host concerts and sporting events. After much demand for a modern and functional venue, city officials planned to build a multi-purpose concert hall with a spectacular fanshaped design. In the fall of 2013, with Sir Elton John playing to a capacity audience of 13,500 people, First Direct Arena officially opened its doors for business. The arena will play host to over 140 events per year ranging from professional sports matches to top-billed music concerts to Disney on Ice. In order to protect the £50 million venue and all patrons in attendance, management needed to deploy a sophisticated HD video surveillance system.
First Direct Arena engaged leading UK-based security specialists, Reflex Systems Ltd., to deliver an integrated solution incorporating video surveillance, access control, and perimeter and intruder detection. Under the recommendation of Reflex Systems, First Direct Arena chose the ACC software because of its multiple features and capability to efficiently manage a full-scale IP surveillance system. It also helped that a wide range of high-profile arenas and stadiums like the Slovnaft Arena (Slovakia) and Rogers Centre (Canada) relied on the Avigilon solution. Lee Sinnott, facilities manager at First Direct Arena agreed, “I saw that Avigilon products were deployed in numerous stadiums throughout North America and Europe,” Mr. Sinnott said. “It was comforting to learn that the system could be used for exactly what I needed it for.’’ What the Arena needed was a system that would be easy to use, provide efficient storage management and immediate and accurate searching capabilities. All features, Mr. Sinnott says, the Avigilon system delivers. “I would say our Avigilon system is significantly better than any kind I’ve seen previously,” he said.
Efficient crowd management
|With Avigilon Control Center software, the security team monitors and manages crowd activity|
According to Mr. Sinnott, First Direct Arena predominately uses HD video surveillance to effectively and efficiently monitor crowd flow. With the ACC software, security personnel are able to monitor a variety of situations, such as altercations in the stands and theft, in an organised and timely manner. “The Avigilon system enables us to mitigate out some of the problems,” Mr. Sinnott said. “We’ve encountered less problems with crime because we can predetermine if there is going to be an issue somewhere.” The software has also been helpful in identifying possible interferences in traffic flow in and around the arena. “ACC has allowed us to manage our multiple cameras better than we have previously in other venues,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Say we see on the monitors that there is congestion at the front of the bar. We can now quickly adjust our staff and make dynamic changes so that we can provide better service at our concession stands.” Mr. Sinnott also points out that HD video surveillance helps accurately assess incidents where liability of the arena is a factor.
Managing a large scale video surveillance system, required by most major arenas, can be a daunting task for security personnel. But the intuitive ACC software has simplified the process for First Direct Arena’s security employees. “To be honest, we find the overall feel of the software to be user-friendly and easy to train employees on,” said Mr. Sinnott. ACC’s advanced search features have also been a time-saving tool for Mr. Sinnott’s staff. “With our older software suites, downloading the large amounts of data could take hours,” he said. “Avigilon’s solution is so much simpler and this is a true benefit of the system. Rather than tying one of our security officers up for hours on end looking for a needle in a haystack, I can just download the segment of footage I need.” The value of the system is proven when the venue’s security personnel can quickly submit footage to local law enforcement officials to assist with investigations. “Providing evidence to our local police force is easy and the footage has been of excellent quality,” Mr. Sinnott said. “The efficiency of the Avigilon system and clear images provided cuts down significantly on resources and time spent.”
In addition to the main control room on the ground level that monitors the entire premise 24 hours a day, First Direct Arena uses a second control room during events to monitor its grounds. With the ACC software in use in both rooms, Mr. Sinnott states that the synchronisation of communication between operators is seamless. “The ability for collaborative investigations was another key factor in our choice of Avigilon because of the flexibility and functionality the feature gave us in both control rooms,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Typically, our older system just provided mirror images of the other screen. If an operator was watching one image in our main control room, an operator in our opposite control room would be watching the same image. With Avigilon we have complete control of functionality from both locations.” If one of the control rooms is disconnected, the security team can easily move to the system in the room without missing a beat. “This kind of flexibility gives us greater control and added functionality,” said Mr. Sinnott.