Sepura has added to its portfolio of powerful AppSPACE applications for mission-critical organisations with SmartView, a unique application that allows team leaders to get a real-time view of their team’s indoor or outdoor location. The application will provide a significant operational advantage to organisations operating complex sites such as airports, utility plants, and sports stadiums, as well as those working in public safety. Visualising outdoor locations The application uses GPS...
Security & Safety Things is announcing that it has rebranded to Azena, a new brand name that underscores the company’s corporate growth and leading-edge smart camera platform and positions it for the next chapter in its ambitious plans for redefining video analytics. With a growing slate of global customer and partner collaborations and expanding geographic coverage, Azena will continue to increase the value of its platform for systems integrators and end customers. More than 100 AI-e...
Security and Safety Things GmbH (S&ST) is pleased to announce the three winners of its 2021 App Challenge, a contest to spur creative development in video analytic applications. The winning apps were chosen from a pool of more than 30 proposals for solutions, which addressed specific security and business use cases, in the retail, transportation, stadiums and entertainment, and healthcare verticals. S&ST's 2021 App Challenge “The Security & Safety Things open platform for sma...
Patriot One Technologies Inc. announced it has released the next phase of its threat detection multi-sensor gateway (MSG) with technology enhancements that make it increasingly accurate, flexible, and practical for sports and entertainment venues. MSG is a weapons detection scanner that stadiums and entertainment venues can deploy at points of entry. Unlike traditional metal detectors, the system uses sensors and purpose-designed artificial intelligence (AI) to scan for prohibited items such as...
Video is an enormous wellspring of unstructured data in the enterprise environment. Finding new ways to use video data requires easy access for analysis. Gone are the days when video was recorded just to be played back later. New computer capabilities can analyse video to provide business intelligence and trends, all of which requires that a lot of unstructured data be captured, stored and kept immediately accessible. It's a driving force for companies specialising in video storage such as Quan...
The 2021 International Security Conference is set to host an impressive line-up of security experts from the British Transport Police, Global Secure Accreditation Ltd, City of London Police and more, when it makes its debut at the International Security Expo 2021, taking place from September 28 - 29, 2021. Split across two days, the new CPD-certified conference will cover important sector-specific challenges and practical case studies looking at Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), aviation...
Security and Safety Things GmbH announces it now offers 100 unique video analytic applications in its application store, further strengthening its position as the largest open platform application store for smart security cameras in the world. The Security & Safety Things’ (S&ST) Application Store now features 100 ready-to-use apps that offer video analytic solutions for retail, manufacturing and logistics, commercial office space, parking and stadium environments, with more apps constantly being added. Camera operating system These apps are designed to run on smart cameras using the S&ST open camera operating system and the S&ST open IoT platform, which enable cameras to simultaneously run a variety of applications that perform different functions. The camera OS is based on the developer-friendly Android Open Source Project (AOSP). “The depth and breadth of the apps we’re able to offer customers through our Application Store is a testament to the growing market demand for flexible, innovative video analytics solutions to meet unique business needs,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer, Security & Safety Things. “By bringing together the collective power of our developer partners, S&ST can make the increasingly fast emerging innovation in video analytics solutions quickly available for businesses and integrators to generate value.” Reducing wait times These AI-enabled applications can be used to increase point-of-sale conversions in retail sectors These AI-enabled applications can be used to increase point-of-sale conversions in retail sectors, through the use of heat-mapping to discern popular items and store times. In stadiums and large events, apps are being used to reduce wait times in ticketing lines and providing contactless parking. In manufacturing and logistics, apps can be used to ensure employees are wearing proper safety vests, hats and reflection vests. In commercial buildings, they can reduce energy usage by monitoring heating and cooling systems. Outside of operational and visitor experience enhancements, the same cameras used to streamline workflows in vertical markets can also be used to carry out security and safety measures, such as theft and weapons detection and the detection of aggressive or violent behaviour. Versatile security tool By enabling security cameras to run multiple apps at once, these cameras are transformed into a versatile security tool, which also offers valuable business intelligence. To take advantage of these apps, end users can simply download and install new apps to their camera, using the S&ST OS, to fit new operational requirements. This also eliminates the need to purchase new hardware to add additional functionality to their video surveillance system. This smartphone approach to video surveillance offers pre-engineered apps and speeds up time to market – reducing development efforts for system integrators and camera manufacturers.
Following a successful US launch, global aviation services group Air Partner launches Tour Protect in the UK, the first COVID-19 travel protection programme for the touring music and entertainment sector. As ‘Freedom Day’ looms fast on the 19th of July, the music and entertainment industries are gearing up for everyone’s safe return to stadiums, arenas and clubs. Despite the exciting prospect of enjoying life free of restrictions, living with COVID-19 ensures safety will remain a top priority, especially as international travel opens up. Advanced safety solutions Tour Protect offers the advanced safety solutions necessary to mitigate risk, safeguard flights and ensure a smooth travel experience along every stop of the way. Kevin MacNaughton, Managing Director of Charter says: “With so much planning and consideration involved with the production of live events, Air Partner’s Tour Protect is specifically designed to ease clientele concern and provide reliable and safe air transportation for the most demanding of schedules.” “Air Partner employs a global network of resources and has 60 years of experience in private aviation enabling it to efficiently manage any tour with the highest degree of care and service. Our customisable charter programme ensures seamless and secure travel as entertainment and music companies take flight again.” New industry solution The Tour Protect add-on charter programme delivers a new industry solution Air Partner has fulfilled many challenging demands during the pandemic and is trusted by Hollywood studios and government agencies alike for their air travel needs. Previous experience includes travel for the 2020 US presidential campaign and on-location film shoots. The Tour Protect add-on charter programme delivers a new industry solution to music and entertainment companies as they begin to plan their tours and provides them with the most advanced safety measures including, enhanced COVID-19 protocols, evacuation planning, security detail and 24/7 health and medical support. Advanced security screening Air Partner’s Tour Protect add-on programme includes: Enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols: Guarantee all aircraft and crew are compliant with recommended COVID-19 procedures including deep cleaning of aircraft, advanced crew training, access to ground transportation that has been safely vetted, and access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination validation screenings. Quick-response evacuation planning: Air Partner is trusted by governments for its evacuation planning services and Tour Protect provides this same level of protection to ensure the fastest solution for any evacuation needs related to COVID-19 or other emergencies that may arise. 24/7 medical support: In partnership with Northcott Global Solutions, Tour Protect includes 24/7 access to medical support for individuals and groups, along with access to a network of highly trained medical personnel who can deploy in short notice to assist with any needs. Security screening: Air Partner works closely with airports, airlines, suppliers and cargo agents globally to ensure that necessary security is in place offering solutions that meet the requirements set out by international regulations and compliance. This includes advanced security screening through rapid deployment of security teams and equipment, as well as added security for high-profile clients. Credentialing and badge IDs available for all passengers including crew, entourage, and additional personnel.
3DX-Ray have announced a contract for the sale of thirty ThreatScan- LS1 X-Ray scanner systems to an undisclosed law enforcement agency in southeast Asia. About ThreatScan-LS1 The ThreatScan-LS1 flat-screen scanner is a highly portable, flexible and powerful tool that allows law enforcement officers to rapidly examine and assess threats in situ, such as travel bags, laptops, packages as well as vehicle tyres, fuel tanks and doors. They can be used in a conventional EOD role, examining items for hidden Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Or in a border security role, locating hidden weapons or contraband such as drugs. Each system consists of a portable X-Ray generator, a detection panel and an operator’s workstation running 3DX-Ray’s pioneering image processing software. Design and functions ThreatScan is lightweight, incredibly thin, and has a large imaging area of 600 x 460mm, enabling bags and objects to be scanned in one scan. This system can penetrate up to 34mm steel at 120kV while producing high-quality, sub-millimetre resolution images. ThreatScan can be used to inspect suspect bags and packages in mass transit areas, such as rail and bus stations, border crossings, airports, shopping malls, stadiums and sports arenas. Authority comments 3DX-RAY LTD, Sales and Marketing Director, Vincent Deery said, “We are extremely pleased to have been chosen by this customer in the face of stiff competition from other systems. The customer has been operating our systems for some time, so this new order is an affirmation of their faith in the system.”
Security and Safety Things GmbH has announced the launch of its second App Challenge to spur additional creative development in video analytic applications. Through April 26, 2021, participating developers have the opportunity to submit proposals for apps to address specific security, safety and business optimisation use cases in the retail, transportation, stadiums and entertainment, and healthcare verticals. S&ST open camera OS and IoT platform The apps will be designed to run on smart cameras using the S&ST open camera OS and IoT platform The apps will be designed to run on smart cameras using the Security & Safety Things open camera operating system (OS) and S&ST open IoT platform, which enables cameras to run a variety of applications simultaneously, in order to perform different functions. The camera OS is based on the developer-friendly Android Open Source Project (AOSP). “While many vertical markets share a core set of operational needs, individual organisations also have unique requirements based on the nuances of their location, customer base or other circumstances,” said Adam Wynne, Head of the Security & Safety Things Innovation Accelerator based in Pittsburgh. Adam Wynne adds, “We are calling on the collective creativity and unique perspectives of the developer community to help solve distinct customer challenges, whether that’s a standalone solution or one based on a combination of different applications.” Creating innovative video analytic applications For this year’s challenge, a variety of system integrators responded to an S&ST survey asking for customer needs and challenges in the four vertical market categories. Based on this feedback, developers will be tasked with creating innovative video analytic applications to address a host of different use cases, including: Unmanned aerial detection for drones and other flying objects in stadiums, or during large events. Suspicious behaviour analytics for the detection of fighting or stealing. Customer conversion and ‘out of stock’ analytics in retails spaces. Cargo protection for the detection of vandalism and theft in parking lots and other facilities. Hygiene and PPE checks in healthcare facilities, as well as anomaly detection for unusual behaviour in elder-care facilities. ESCON 2021 Three winners will be chosen by a jury of 20 prominent system integrators Three winners will be chosen by a jury of 20 prominent system integrators and will be awarded individual prizes of 10,000€ (Euros) each. Winners will also be invited to showcase their solution at the Security & Safety Things (S&ST) booth at an upcoming event, ESCON 2021, depending on the COVID-19 situation. All participating developers will be able to benefit from various co-marketing opportunities with Security & Safety Things GmbH, throughout the duration of the App Challenge. App Challenge The winning apps from the 2020 App Challenge provided solutions for retail and commercial buildings, transportation and smart city, and manufacturing and logistics categories. Overall, the challenge resulted in 20+ new applications being added to the Security & Safety Things Application Store. How it works: Developers can submit multiple proposals for more than one vertical by April 26, 2021. Proposals will be reviewed and the most promising will be chosen by the Jury to proceed with development. Developers will have from April 29 to July 31, 2021, to create their solution(s). Once developed, the app will need to be uploaded to the Application Store by July 31, 2021. S&ST and the jury will test and review the apps. Winners will be chosen by the end of August, 2021. Developers can apply for the App Challenge by submitting their proposals latest by April 26, 2021 on the app challenge page on Security and Safety Things GmbH’s official website.
Panasonic Security Solutions announced that it had become a Founder of the relaunched International Professional Security Association (IPSA). The association is dedicated to supporting those individuals and companies working in the fire and security sector, many of which are classified as key workers. Member job roles range from installation technicians of security systems and fire systems to vital security personnel. Free app and membership The Panasonic investment, as one of a number of Founders, has helped to fund a radical shake-up of the UK's longest established security association. New initiatives include free membership for all frontline security and technical workers and a new free app. The app will provide information and training modules, and a network of approved suppliers that support the industry The app will provide information and guidance, welfare, training modules, and a network of approved suppliers that support the industry. IPSA also plans to use the app to capture important data and trends about unreported incidents, mental well-being, injuries, diversity, and disability - all of which, for the first time, will allow for an accurate picture of incidents affecting front-line security officers, businesses, and the wider community. Driving security standards "IPSA plans to represent the security industry with "one voice" and the support of Founder organisations, such as Panasonic, enable us to deliver on this vision," said Simon Pears, Chairman of IPSA. "Each and every one of our Founders is showing their commitment and support in driving security standards and professionalism forward. Their support is invaluable as we showcase all aspects of the security solutions and career progression available." Safeguard security society Commenting on the investment, Panasonic Security Solutions Marketing Manager Rachael Crook, said, "Panasonic has a 60-plus-year proud history of supporting the security industry - providing reliable camera and software solutions and the valuable real-time information used by its professionals to safeguard society.” “With the relaunch of IPSA, its commitment to the industry, and the important role it plays in society, as well as the focus on technology solutions like the app, it made perfect sense for us to support the new-look organisation."
Stadiums and arenas are entertainment venues that can hold thousands of people at one time. They most often host sporting competitions, but they are sometimes also the sites of other events, such as concerts. Gatherings of so many people make stadiums soft targets for violence and terrorism. Fortunately, Delta Scientific has a wide range of products that can help to enhance the security of arenas or stadiums. Safety and security standards Responsibility for security at a stadium is often shared between the organisation holding the event and the owners of the stadium itself. The owner and the organisation often cooperate with one another to assess risks, decide how to mitigate them and communicate security requirements to the staff that will be responsible for enforcing them. For example, FIFA, which is the international soccer association, holds events around the world and works with officials in the host nation and organisers at the venue to put together a safety and security management team. Safety risks Many of the safety risks involve accidents resulting from crowding so many people into one place Many of the safety risks involve accidents resulting from crowding so many people into one place. There are unintentional injuries due to slip-and-fall accidents or trampling. Sometimes there are intentional assaults by fans that have been carried away by the emotion of the event or impaired by alcohol. Security risks Then there are the threats of terroristic attacks. Extremists of any ideology try to make as big an impact as possible, literally as well as figuratively. An attack that affects many people at the same time is likely to thrust them into the spotlight. Terrorist attacks often involve vehicles. Most vehicular attacks in recent years have involved driving directly into buildings or pedestrian areas. Another very real and frightening possibility is a vehicle that has been loaded down with explosives and driven as close to the stadium as possible, then detonated. Portable barriers Depending on the stadium’s schedule, one may find that they do not need the highest level of security on a daily basis. One may only need to enhance it when an event is going on. Portable barriers are easy to set up, tear down, and move around as needed. They are as effective at stopping vehicles as their more permanent counterparts. However, some portable barriers offer Soft Stop technology, protecting the building and pedestrians from vehicular attack but not demolishing the passenger compartment and harming the vehicle occupants in the process. Crash-rated gates Crash-rated gates can deny access to all but authorised vehicles There are some areas around a stadium that are closed off to patrons but need to be accessible to staff, delivery people, etc. These areas may represent a tempting entry point for a terroristic attack. Crash-rated gates can deny access to all but authorised vehicles. These come in different varieties, including swinging and rolling gates. Enhancing stadium security Unfortunately, many stadiums do not take the necessary steps to enhance safety and security until a tragedy occurs. In the case of a terrorist attack, this could mean the loss of hundreds, or even thousands, of lives. On the other hand, many stadiums are choosing to be proactive in preventing a large-scale tragedy from occurring in the first place. Venues that we have worked with recently include CitiField in New York, Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, and SOFI Stadium in Los Angeles.
As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and sporting venues open-up to full capacity, a new disturbing trend has hit the headlines - poor fan behaviour. Five NBA teams have issued indefinite bans on fans, who crossed the line of unacceptable behaviour, during the NBA playoffs. Major League Baseball stadiums have a recurring problem with divisive political banners being strewn over walls, as part of an organised campaign, requiring fan ejections. There was a brawl between Clippers and Suns fans after Game 1 of their playoff series. And, the U.S. vs. Mexico Nations League soccer game over the Fourth of July weekend had to be halted, due to fans throwing objects at players and screaming offensive chants. Cracking down on poor fan behaviour Security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour With players across all major sports leagues commanding more power than ever before, they are demanding that sports venues crack down on poor fan behaviour, particularly when they are the targets of that behaviour. Whether it’s an extension of the social-media divisiveness that’s gripped society, or people unleashing pent up negative energy, following 15 months of social isolation, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, security directors are consistently reporting a disturbing uptick in poor fan attitude and behaviour. They’re also reporting a chronic security guard shortage, like many businesses that rely on relatively low-cost labour, finding candidates to fill open positions has been incredibly difficult. Low police morale To add the third component to this perfect storm, many police departments are struggling with morale issues and officers are less likely to put themselves into positions, where they could wind up in a viral video. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, police officer retirements in the U.S. were up 45% in the April 2020 - April 2021 period, when compared to the previous year. Resignations were up 18%. In this environment, officers may be less likely to undertake fan intervention unless it’s absolutely necessary. This can seem like the worst of times for venue security directors, as they need more staff to handle increasingly unruly patrons, but that staff simply isn’t available. And, because the security guard staffing industry is a commoditised business, companies compete almost solely on price, which requires that they keep salaries as low as possible, which perpetuates the lack of interest in people participating in the profession. Digital Transformation There is only one way out of this conundrum and that is to make security personnel more efficient and effective. Other industries have solved similar staffing and cost challenges through digital transformation. For example, only a small percentage of the total population of restaurants in the U.S. used to offer home delivery, due to cost and staffing challenges of hiring dedicated delivery personnel. Advent of digital efficiency tools But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery But with the advent of digital efficiency tools, such as UberEATS and DoorDash, now virtually all restaurants can offer delivery. Likewise, field-service personnel are digitally connected, so when new jobs arise, they can be notified and routed to the location. Compare this to the old paper-based days, when they wouldn’t know about any new jobs until they picked up their work schedule at the office, the next day and you can see how digital transformation makes each worker significantly more efficient. Security guards and manned guarding The security guard business has never undergone this kind of digital transformation. The state-of-the-art ‘technology’ has never changed - human eyes and ears. Yes, there are video cameras all over stadiums and other venues, but behind the scenes is a guard staring at a bunch of monitors, hoping to identify incidents that need attention. Meanwhile, there are other guards stationed around the stadium, spending most of their time watching people who are doing nothing wrong. Think about all the wasted time involved with these activities – not to mention the relentless boredom and ‘alert fatigue’ from false-positive incident reporting and you understand the fundamental inefficiencies of this labour-based approach to security. Now think about a world where there’s ubiquitous video surveillance and guards are automatically and pre-emptively notified and briefed, when situations arise. The fundamental nature of the security guards profession changes. Instead of being low paid ‘watchers’, they instead become digitally-empowered preventers. AI-based screening and monitoring technology This world is happening today, through Artificial Intelligence-based screening and monitoring technology. AI-powered weapons-detection gateways inform guards, when a patron entering the venue is carrying a gun, knife or other forbidden item. Instead of patting down every patron with metal in their pockets, which has been the standard practice since walk-through metal detectors were mandated by sports leagues following 9/11, guards can now target only those who are carrying these specific items. Video surveillance and AI-based analytics integration Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances Combining surveillance video with AI-based advanced analytics can automatically identify fan disturbances or other operational issues, and notify guards in real time, eliminating the need to have large numbers of guards monitoring video feeds and patrons. The business benefits of digitally transformed guards are compelling. A National Hockey League security director says he used to have 300 guards manning 100 walk-through metal detectors. By moving to AI solutions, he can significantly reduce the number of scanning portals and guards, and most importantly redeploy and gain further operational efficiencies with his overall operational strategy. Changing staffing strategy This changes the staffing strategy significantly and elevates the roles of guards. Suddenly, a US$ 20-per-hour ‘job’ becomes a US$ 40-per-hour profession, with guards transformed into digital knowledge workers delivering better outcomes with digitally enabled staffs. Beyond that, these digitally transformed guards can spend a much higher percentage of their time focused on tasks that impact the fan experience – whether it’s keeping weapons out of the building, pro-actively dealing with unruly fans before a broader disruption occurs, or managing business operations that positively impact fan patron experience. Digitally transforming security guards Perhaps most important, digitally transforming security guards elevates the profession to a more strategic level, which means better pay for the guards, better service for clients of guard services, and an overall better experience for fans. That’s a perfect storm of goodness for everyone.
COVID restrictions across the UK are slowly easing and many public venues, including stadiums, are beginning to reopen following a year of closures and uncertainty. According to recent ONS figures, criminal offences – excluding fraud and computer misuse – dropped significantly during the lockdown periods of 2020. In fact, 25% less crime was reported in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. However, as lockdown measures eased each time, crime levels quickly crept up, sadly emphasising the remaining very real threat of theft, terrorism, and random acts of violence. Considering protective measures These stats reiterate just how crucial it is for venue owners to consider protective measures to ensure the public can enjoy the site, or space, safely. To support this, the government launched a consultation in February, on newly proposed anti-terrorism legislation to help better protect the general public when they visit public venues. The Protect Duty Bill builds on ‘Martyn’s Law’, legislation campaigned for by the mother of one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena attack. The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas The consultation will consider ways of developing robust security measures in public areas. Currently, there is no legal obligation for venue operators and owners of public locations to take the responsibility of protecting the public. This Bill will ensure they are liable and certify they take steps to assess and mitigate the security risks. Achieving improved security Publicly accessible locations are any spaces the general public have permission to enter. This comprises of three main categories: public venues with a capacity of over 100 people, e.g., entertainment venues, tourist attractions, and shopping centres; large organisations like retail or entertainment chains with a minimum of 250 staff; and public spaces such as parks, beaches, and thoroughfares. Public spaces are significantly tougher to protect, and the government is intent on exploring the most effective way to achieve improved security, alongside the parties responsible for these locations. This means establishing responsibility for safety in these spaces, considering what the reasonable expectations are, and the potential role played by legislation in mitigating the issues. Providing security framework Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time It’s impossible to predict or prevent all terrorist attacks, so any publicly accessible location has the potential to be a target. Measures must be put in place to ensure they’re ready to take appropriate action at any time, should an incident take place. The consultation aims to provide a security framework to help venues be prepared, by considering the adequacy of adopted security measures, systems, and processes. The consultation document includes a list of recommendations for venues: Be alert to suspicious behaviours, engage the person in a welcoming and helpful manner, or report them to the police. Be alert to abandoned bags. Be security-minded, especially online. Avoid providing specific information that could aid a terrorist, for example, floor plans with security details. Encourage and enable a security culture. Complete and provide ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Awareness e-learning. Have a clear action plan. How would you respond to an incident inside or outside your site? Periodically review and refresh the risk assessment. Security-minded culture The framework comprises of three key points that should be strongly considered for all spaces and organisations: Completing a risk assessment – This involves understanding potential terrorist motivations, targets, type of attack, and how those motivations and methodologies might change or evolve. A systemic approach to security – It’s vital to think of security as a combination of physical and behavioural interventions to ensure a far more secure area or venue. Physical measures such as fences, bollards, CCTV, and blast-resistant glazing should be installed alongside a security-minded culture. Vigilance should be encouraged and the appropriate training offered to staff involved in the day-to-day running of the establishment. Investigate the ins and outs – while it may be tempting to choose a product and hope for the best, it’s crucial to investigate further to ensure your system doesn’t conflict with other safety measures, including health, safety, and fire regulations. Practical preparedness measures Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organisational preparedness system To meet the terms, be sure to use all the information and guidance provided by the government, and police services. The guidance is designed to help realise the risks, and the potential impact they could have on people and property. These will vary per site as each venue is unique and will have a specific purpose which will influence the security measures required. Venues should also consider a ‘reasonably practicable’ organisational preparedness system. This doesn’t mean that all employees have to become security staff, but rather providing training and planning so that everyone knows how to react quickly in case of an emergency. First and foremost, the government is offering advice on understanding threats and attack methods, practical preparedness measures, and how to stay vigilant and plan for incidents. There are also plans for a new digital platform to be launched later this year for advice and training purposes. High-quality products In addition to this, sectoral and regional engagement days have been outlined in the proposal, with updates and revisions to training and e-learning programmes. An app devoted to ACT was launched in March 2020, and the government authorities Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) are also providing advice. Organisations that specialise in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners There are plans for the government and businesses to have increased engagement with the security industry. Organisations that specialise in delivering and supporting security solutions can help owners and operators of publicly accessible locations comply with the Protect Duty. It’s becoming more important than ever before to ensure the market can provide sufficient high-quality products, services, and expert information to those who require it. Maintaining appropriate standards The government may consider introducing new schemes to promote and maintain appropriate standards such as accredited training and approved contractor schemes or regulation, in addition to existing initiatives. A renewed focus on integrated security in public venues is hugely encouraging. We have demonstrated for years that it is very possible to make a site both secure and aesthetically pleasing, in keeping with its existing surroundings. Furthermore, in many cases security can positively enhance user experience. Many visitors feel reassured by carefully integrated physical security when they attend large scale events, meaning they’ll visit again. Do this in a hostile way and people will be put off. Robust protection in these venues and spaces is all about achieving a careful balance, and with the right guidance and fit-for-purpose solutions, we can help to create a safer spaces for everyone.
Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19. Fans and spectators in masses have been absent from stadiums since April and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan on how or when they’ll be able to return to near capacity. The NBA recently opted to form a bubble philosophy concept in Disney’s facilities, although it’s been a relative success, it’s also been a $200 million temporary solution. This then begs the question: How long can stadiums survive like this without spectator’s present? History tells us that stadiums, venues and sport recover from disasters, so what can stadiums do to speed up the process? This is the catalyst for AI to be integrated on mass level to stadiums around the world. AI is the answer AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back is huge, through capabilities such as: Social Distance Monitoring Crowd Scanning/Metrics Facial Recognition Fever Detection Track & Trace Providing Behavioural Analytics Technologies such as IREX.ai is now working alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. Stadiums around the world are still paralysed from the effects of COVID-19 AI surveillance software such as IREX.ai when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. Crowd metrics Arming stadiums with AI-powered surveillance tools can detect crowd metrics such as “people counting” and “group statistics”. This ensures stadium personnel can monitor social distancing with precision, accuracy and immediately. Alerts can be set up throughout parts of the stadium to alert senior staff members when overcrowding can appear with real-time videos, analytics and photos to their hand-held device, such as a smartphone. Fever detection Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures. What IREX.ai implements is an alert system, coupled with facial recognition of any individual(s) that read an elevated body temperature. This alert system then provides security and health officials with a photo of the individual with the elevated body temperature, meaning staff can react quicker to the situation prevent this individual from entry. Pandemic monitoring by facial recognition Thermal cameras have been implemented throughout facilities including stadiums and are helping assist to spot people with elevated temperatures Through facial recognition, staff members will be able to locate individuals through simply uploading a photo. It has never been easier to find a person of interest. With masks becoming an everyday part of society, facial recognition has come under scrutiny regarding the accuracy when a mask is worn. Irex.ai still maintains a 96% accuracy with individuals wearing masks and can set up alerts for any individuals not wearing a mask. Another important aspect of facial recognition is finding persons of interest quickly through technology like IREX.ai’s “searchveillance”. The future is here. Designated staff can track a person from when they enter the stadium by simply uploading their photograph. An example of how this can assist stadium personnel is to help relocate lost children inside the stadium with their guardians/parents when they are separated. Another attribute would be any individuals banned from entering the stadium would trigger alerts once they appear under surveillance, a fantastic collaborative tool to use with Law Enforcement. Return on investment With security solutions, one of the biggest issues with any security investment is a lack of an ROI. This is where AI security is breaking the mould. The ability to provide business analytics, consumer/fan behaviours, traffic patterns, etc, allows other departments within the organisation to gain vital information that can assist with their strategies and practices. Stadium security will never be the same in a post-COVID world, so why will its practices stay the same? AI & Stadiums is no longer the future, it’s the 2020 solution.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognise a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customisable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimise security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimise security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioural analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioural anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
A high majority of Americans (83%) are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events such as sporting events or concert festivals. More than one in five (22% of) Americans say they have cancelled plans or considered cancelling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data. Across the pond, three in 10 Britons think twice about attending large-scale events due to data or physical security issues. Although less than half of U.K. survey respondents have changed their plans to attend large events, some 45% are taking extra security precautions. Brits are as afraid of using public Wi-Fi at an event as of a physical criminal attack. These are some of the insights from the 2019 Unisys Security Index survey of more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including 1,000 in the U.S. and another 1,000 in the United Kingdom. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed Security index scores of countries Unisys gauged attitudes on a range of security-related issues and created an index based on survey results. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, Internet and personal security. Currently, the U.K. index is at 147 (down from 149 in 2018), which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. In contrast, the U.S. index is now at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among developed countries surveyed. Globally, the index average stands at 175, with the Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of 115. Concerns about misuse of information Privacy is an area where concern is growing. “This year more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information,” says Unisys’ Global Chief Security Architect, Salvatore Sinno. Another 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices such as mobile phones or smart speakers. The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern The summer calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals raises the levels of security concern. Nick Aldworth, former National Counter Terrorism Co-Ordinator, tells the BBC that the government is not doing enough to ensure venues are secure. He supports a campaign for more rigorous checks at venues in the U.K., named Martyn’s Law, after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. Safety pointers while attending event Salvatore Sinno of Unisys provides the following pointers on keeping safe this summer: If planning to attend a crowded event alone, let someone know. Make sure friends or family know where you are going, when you plan to arrive and when you are expected to return. Plan ahead and check local authorities’ alerts; sign up for any travel or news alerts to receive updates on traffic or news of any disturbances. As soon as you get to an event, survey your surroundings. Make sure you know where the exits are and agree on a meeting place with friends in case you should get separated from the group. Know where stewards and information points are so you can speak to someone if you need to. Be vigilant for suspicious activity at an event. Don’t be afraid to report something you think is unusual, such as unattended baggage or people behaving in a suspicious or threatening way. In an emergency, stay calm and move to the edges of crowds. Try to leave the area quickly and calmly. If you need to, follow the standard police advice of ‘Run, Hide and Tell’. Only buy event tickets from official channels or trusted websites. Update your mobile device with the latest, most secure software and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks; keep your phone charged and take along a battery charger pack. Don’t make electronic transactions at unofficial event vendors; be careful with contactless cards or making mobile transactions. “Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” says Sinno.
Krowd is an app that connects people together based on geography; that is, if they are at the same place at the same time. Users sign into the app using the local WiFi, identify themselves by username, and are placed immediately in a group chat comprising anyone else at the location who has signed into the app. An enhancement of the Krowd app, known as Krowdsafe, leverages the technology to achieve and promote security and safety. Specifically, Krowdsafe enables users to interact directly with security personnel at a public place to report any crimes or security infractions and to enable rapid response. Think of it as “crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer. In effect, it enables each of its users to be an extension of the security presence at a venue or event. Krowdsafe improves crowd resilience. “Crowdsourcing” security – the app provides more eyes and ears to keep a venue safer Krowdsafe security app Krowdsafe also opens a channel of communication for the security team to provide ad-hoc security information reminders or messages. Krowdsafe can be used at a variety of venues, including stadiums, transport hubs, office blocks, retail malls, college campus and major events organisers. The app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users. Other app users only know the information fellow users disclose. Still, group chats, one-on-one engagement, and other social media interactions can ensue, whether about a favourite football team or the excitement of a rock concert. The system fosters digital engagement that centers around a physical space. Krowdsafe applies those capabilities to promoting better security. Enhancing crowd safety and management The elements of Krowdsafe beat out 67 competitors to win the Defence & Security Accelerator Competition to Innovate Crowd Safety, launched by the UK Home office after terror events in 2017. Key areas of interest in the competition were to improve the detection of threats from explosives and weapons within a range of crowded places with high footfall and so reduce the chance of future attacks. Krowdsafe provides a prioritised, readily accessible and simple way for members of a crowd to communicate with a security team charged with keeping them safe. The £250,000 government award has helped the product move forward commercially at a faster pace. Krowdsafe app does not access identities, violate privacy, or track the movements of users Krowdsafe users can tap a red button, prominent on the Krowd app, that says “Report.” They may then choose from a listing of common threat types – from suspicious activity or unattended activity to medical emergency or fire services. The list is configurable by venue and corresponds to any specific threat models. The list corresponds to the nature of any situation security wants to address, such as “anti-social behavior” at a football club. Users in the crowd can anonymously report racist chanting, for example. In a children’s sporting event, the app can be used to facilitate lost-and-found children. If a child gets lost, a user can share a photo with the security team, who can alert the “public” (other Krowdsafe users) and find the child within minutes or seconds. Encrypted identifier code A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team A user taps the “Report” button, selects an issue, and an alert goes directly to the security team, who can respond because they have the encrypted identifier code from which the message came. For that point, the security team communicates one-on-one with the user, who can then choose to share their current location with the security team to facilitate response. (The “legitimate interest” of knowing the location negates any privacy concerns.) Once location is enabled, the security team can follow the precise positioning of threats on a map, using GPS and other technologies, or even on a three-dimensional digital map of a multi-story building. Another security benefit of Krowdsafe is prevention. Event organisers and venue managers can promote the use of Krowdsafe on posters or in announcements throughout the venue. Additional eyes and ears are the equivalent of CCTV coverage on every inch of a venue and use of the system makes the environment more hostile to mischievous, malicious and/or terrorist activity. In effect, bad guys will go somewhere else. Enhancement to Krowd app Krowdsafe is an enhancement to the Krowd app, which has been around for a couple of years and is available in app stores for iOS and Android. The app approximates in the digital world the experience of being a stranger in the crowd in the real world. Users can join a conversation based on their username, and then disclose to the crowd whatever they wish (or not). Event managers/organisers can promote hashtags to help identify others in the crowd (such as #ManUnited to identify fans of the same football team). In general, users can identify themselves (voluntarily) according to common interests using hashtags. “Krowd is a group chat that connects people together at the same place at the same time in a group, but without anyone having to disclose personal information,” says Geoff Revill, Managing Director, Krowdthink Ltd. “You have a digital presence in the same place with other people at the same time.” Wireless connectivity Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue Users connect initially into the system through WiFi, access to which serves to approximate presence at a venue. Once someone signs in, information about them is merely a grouping of “hash” numbers, which are used to identify them as they communicate with others in the location. However, the “hashing” cannot be hacked to find a user’s location, thus ensuring greater privacy. Because Krowd does not collect personal data (which is a revenue source for most social media companies), the company generates revenue by providing the service to venue owners who wish to interact with and manage a crowd. Data security Location data is considered sensitive under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and tracking locations can help to identify where someone lives, works, who they associate with, etc. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues. After initially signing in on WiFi, Krowd communications can also use 2G, 3G and other cellular networks in addition to WiFi. Addressing privacy concerns is essential to encouraging involvement in the Krowd app, and in Krowdsafe. “If you want people to participate in keeping the crowd safe, you have to get their trust and respect them, that’s a building block behind the behavioral science,” says Revill. By not tracking location, Krowd avoids the related privacy issues Privacy protection Because Krowd users remain anonymous (except for the information they choose to share), user data is not collected (and/or sold or used for future marketing purposes). Krowd’s paying customers are event venues and public places that provide the Krowd service and can promote their commercial messages or provide other information to their populations while on site. Krowdsafe can provide immediate security benefits to a venue. Even if only 25 staff members use the app in a given location, for example, that’s 25 more sets of eyes and ears to help the security department. In a retail mall, if the staffs of 200 tenant businesses use the app, that’s another 500 or so people watching out for security. Among the general public, use of the app can be promoted in customer newsletters, or by posting group discussions on big screens around a venue. Wide marketing scope It enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets Security is a secondary benefit for some Krowd users, who are drawn to the app because of marketing opportunities, such as the ability to provide discounts or promotional offers to customers while they are on site. The app also encourages social media interaction, while maintaining the venue’s ability to “manage” the crowd by moderating any discussions. The Krowd app also provides management benefits to a venue. For example, it enables members of a crowd to report any broken doors, water leaks or blocked toilets. In general, the app helps to promote a better brand experience for the customer. Incident management One of the UK government’s concerns about Krowdsafe was its possible use by terrorists or other to cause incidents in a public venue. Think of the case of Olly Murs, a U.K. singer, whose mistaken tweets about hearing gunshots caused a brief panic at a department store on a busy shopping day. Might Krowd be uses similarly by a terrorist or other evil-doer to cause chaos or a distraction? No, says Revill, who points to a higher level of control over content exchanged in Krowd versus Twitter, for example. The security team can censor content or limit its propagation. They can also disable or block a user from communicating on the app. Messages containing dangerous or troubling content, such as racist terms, can trigger alerts to enable security teams to respond quickly.
The Praesensa public address and voice alarm system from Bosch is at the heart of the new safety system at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park stadium. The football club chose for digital infrastructure design specialist and system integrator Landways to design, fund and install this new system, alongside high-performance solutions for Wi-Fi and security, to help realise owner Rob Couhig’s ambitious vision for a great match day experience. Digital message storage The stadium officials eventually decided on the fully IP-based Praesensa system from Bosch, which covers all public areas of the 10,000-capacity stadium and features a smart-power concept with integrated redundancies to save on energy, hardware and space. Supporting the required intelligibility for voice evacuation, the system assures security for fans, complying with the requirements set by both the English Football League and the local council for ground safety and survivability in the event of an emergency. The solution can be utilised for pre-recorded messages from the system controller’s digital message storage, or for live announcements from two Praesensa emergency call stations. Digital audio matrices Praesensa messages are always ready to broadcast at the highest priority The audio signals from Praesensa are fed into nine Dynacord MXE5 digital audio matrices via the built-in OMNEO IP architecture. This perfectly matches the benefits of a combined prosound and public address system with the mandatory requirements for voice alarm systems to be fully compliant to the required standards. Functioning as a communications hub, the MXE5 can be used for all peripherals, with comprehensive supervision and monitoring of all system-wide commands. The seamless integration of all IP-based systems ensures that during an emergency, Praesensa messages are always ready to broadcast at the highest priority, with the entertainment audio automatically muted. With reliability ensured from the moment of installation, the feature-rich Bosch Praesensa provides Adams Park with a future-proof solution that can be easily configured and controlled via the intuitive user interface. High-quality stadium “I am delighted that our new digital infrastructure is now fully in place and available for the benefit of everyone inside Adams Park,” says Rob Couhig, Chairman of Wycombe Wanderers. “We are making a long-term investment in IP technology to improve the match-day experience, reduce costs and help our business continue to thrive. It is great that the same underlying energy-efficient infrastructure that delivers our incredibly fast Wi-Fi can also be used to deliver high-quality stadium audio and new safety systems.”
The Groupama Stadium — also known as the Grand Stade de Lyon— is a sports and recreation complex and soccer stadium that is located in the eastern metropolitan area of Lyon, France. With a maximum capacity of 59,186 seats, the venue hosts approximately 30 events per year such as sports games, concerts, and performances. The stadium is the third-largest stadium in France and the twenty-seventh in Europe. Situated in a town with only 25,000 residents, the stadium hosts twice as many spectators at its events. Efficiently managing crowds Under the leadership of Xavier Pierrot, Stadium Manager at Groupama Stadium, the team pays particular attention to the safety and well-being of community members as well as business owners, fans, players, journalists and staff. Their mission is to ensure the highest levels of safety while maintaining impeccable service. The stadium’s security team wanted a security system that would help them efficiently to manage crowds To achieve these goals, the stadium’s security team wanted a security system that would help them efficiently manage crowds and ensure the safest experience for guests. The stadium also needed an effective security system to help them identify threats and pull evidence for law enforcement agencies following any incidents. Groupama Stadium entrusted the IT and security solutions selection to Orange Business Services, who recommended the Genetec™ Security Center with the Omnicast™ video surveillance solution. Unified security platform Security Center is the unified security platform that combines video surveillance, access control and licence plate recognition systems into one intuitive solution. Prosegur, a specialist in security solutions integration, handled the system installation. The Omnicast video surveillance system met the complex’s specifications and budget. The security system is both reliable and easy to use for operators who can act quickly and discreetly in the event of an incident. “We followed the theme park model. Why? Quite simply because security is of the utmost importance but it must not be intrusive or become a source of anxiety. For families with children that are attending games, for example, this experience must be one of leisure. So, we needed a solid and reliable system. The Security Center platform had all the requirements to ensure the surveillance of the stadium in this particular context,” explained Xavier Pierrot. Remotely access video Operators use the Omnicast system to monitor over 260 Axis Communications cameras Thanks to the Federation™ feature of Security Center, operators centrally monitor video from all sites in the complex, including the training centre and practice facility. The security team can view live video or remotely access video any time of the day. They can also easily go back and search through archived video, if necessary. Operators use the Omnicast system to monitor over 260 Axis Communications cameras. The system provides coverage of all entrances, concession stands, 7,000 parking spaces and traffic routes around the site. Operators can easily find the cameras using the map interface of Security Center, Plan Manager. The map module provides a comprehensive view of any area of the site in one single click. Video surveillance solution “Since its installation, the Genetec Omnicast video surveillance solution has enabled us to resolve 100% of minor incidents; the vast majority of which were cases of theft or dropping of smoke bombs, and has helped us resolve major incidents that required the involvement of law enforcement,” says Xavier Pierrot. The entire security system is fully redundant, providing the highest levels of protection in this modern complex. All monitoring is now carried out from a central control room at the stadium, helping operators save time In case servers, PCs or power supplies malfunction, the failover and redundancy features of Security Center ensure that the system continues to run smoothly. All monitoring is now carried out from a central control room at the stadium, helping operators save time and become more efficient when responding to events. Teams never have to leave the control room for intervention because all decision makers including law enforcement, the organiser, first responders, firefighters, and security operators have access to the system. Retrieve video recordings With the Security Center Omnicast system, users can easily view video, retrieve video recordings, zoom into precise details, print photos, save specific bookmarks, or manage alarms to secure various zones of the stadium environment and its perimeter. Using the Genetec Software Development Kit (SDK), the team at the POL has been able to integrate the IP video system with another third-party system to facilitate the transfer of evidence. The integration allows for secure gateways to be set up with certain public partners such as the police headquarters or the Interior Ministry, enabling the transfer of information during large-scale events such as Euro 2016. Facial recognition system Groupama Stadium would like to integrate a facial recognition system within the unified platform In accordance with privacy laws, and as a next step, Groupama Stadium would like to integrate a facial recognition system within the unified platform, so its team can automatically be alerted to banned persons as they enter the stadium. “Since Security Center is flexible and scalable, we plan to continue evolving the platform and taking full advantage of its potential in order to better protect our guests, community members, and staff,” concluded Xavier Pierrot. The Omnicast system of Security Center manages 262 Axis Communications network cameras, including various models and a few 360° domes. All seats are monitored by three different cameras, two fixed and one dome to ensure several viewpoints. The cameras record continuously.
The Goffert Stadium, home to the N.E.C. football club in Nijmegen, Netherlands, was in dire need of an upgrade as its legacy security system had fallen into disrepair and was no longer fit for purpose. To tackle the issue, the football club worked with VideoGuard to deploy a Genetec system that could modernise security operations and support a phased evolution of infrastructure. The security challenge of the stadium The Goffert stadium’s original analogue security system had been installed during a major renovation in 2000. It had initially served the security team well but over the years it had failed to evolve in line with the new requirements of the organisations. Upgrading its capabilities were complex and costly, while almost half of the CCTV cameras had become inoperable. Theo van Benthum, Goffert Stadium Manager, explains the issue in more depth, “The images from the old cameras could no longer be used as legal evidence. And that’s important if one really wants to be able to tackle hooligans. In addition, there is also an economic reason to have good CCTV surveillance.” “The mayor of Nijmegen demands from us that we have a good security organisation and camera surveillance is an integral part of that. In matches with an increased risk of disturbances, the police come to us to watch and if they think that the camera footage cannot be used, this could have consequences for us. For example, we have to allow fewer visitors, or certain competitions may no longer take place. The KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) can also come with sanctions if we are imposed by the municipality.” Flexible systems with lowering costs Replacing the entire system became the only option. However, committing the budget required to fund all of the necessary upgrades in one go would be difficult. Van Benthum was also keen to ensure that whatever system was adopted had the flexibility to evolve in line with future needs. Richard Nass, the Owner and Managing Director of VideoGuard stepped in to assist the club, proposing a complete refit based around Genetec Security Center. As an open platform that supports a wide range of cameras, this provided a path for the club to take a phased approach to refresh its hardware. Helping to lower up-front costs without limiting options for future upgrades. Deployment of Genetec Project began by replacing the dilapidated analogue cameras with state-of-the-art Type 5000i Bosch Autodomes Theo van Benthum acknowledges that a project of this scale simply wouldn’t have been feasible without the input of VideoGuard and Genetec. “It wasn’t just about replacing the 24 cameras. The existing network could also no longer be used. Everything was outdated and weathered. I knew Richard Nass from the past and knew he was in the camera business, so I thought I’d give him a call. This is how the idea arose to turn our stadium into a showroom. He came up with a proposal that we could handle just fine. Now, but also in the future.” In 2018, the project began by replacing the dilapidated analogue cameras with state-of-the-art Type 5000i Bosch Autodomes, which significantly improved the quality and accuracy of footage. The cameras were then connected via a new network with two Genetec Streamvault-SV-2000 servers and run on Genetec Security Centre. Surveillance camera coverage was also considerably expanded in other areas, such as the fan entrances and car park, to ensure better visibility across the stadium in high footfall areas. Easy camera accessibility The interior cameras were previously run on a separate system, but now, using Genetec Security Center, staff can access every camera on-premises via a single platform, providing a more holistic view into security operations. Furthermore, Security Center also enables personnel to monitor surveillance via their phone or tablets, enabling a greater degree of flexibility, as the security personnel is no longer required to be constantly posted at a monitoring station. Speaking about the refit, Frank Scholten, Product Manager and Engineer at VideoGuard, said, “What has improved enormously with Genetec is the ease of use. For example, it is very easy to select cameras based on a map. In addition, the system can be expanded quickly and easily if necessary.” The new security system proved its worth when hooligans associated with ADO Den Haag attempted to burn down the N.E.C. training centre. The new state-of-the-art cameras were able to clearly capture the scene, serving as vital evidence for the police, leading to the successful arrests of both of the suspects. Plans As Security Center is an open platform, it means the club isn’t restricted to specific hardware and can integrate whichever tools suit their needs best. Speaking about plans for the future, Frank Scholten said, “It may sound strange, but we actually think it’s a bit of a pity that the Goffert Stadium is so satisfied with our system. We do intend to use more and more opportunities in the future. For us, but of course also to be able to show other stadiums what is possible.”
Traffic management takes many forms. Traffic management can involve closing a roadway during a major city event such as a motion picture awards show or traffic management can simply entail a traffic arm that raises and lowers after a fee has been paid in a parking garage. Traffic management can include directing traffic in one direction during peak hours or closing a facility to vehicle traffic after hours. It can also prevent wrong-way entry or ensuring vehicles cannot encroach on pedestrian areas. Barriers for security In most cases, it is quite easy to breach the entrance to the parking lot. Once entered, the vehicle can pick up speed to crash through one of the gates or entrances to get within the stadium itself. To provide increased security, Delta Scientific DSC501 barriers are used at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta at main entrances where players and VIPs, among others, enter with their cars. K54 certification The DSC501 protects against a “second hit” risk from a second vehicle The DSC501 is the only K54-certified retractable vehicle barricade in the world. Set in a foundation only 18 inches deep, it will survive and operate after a 5.4-million foot-pound impact. That’s equivalent to a 65,000-pound truck hitting it at 50 mph. Stopping the truck or car dead in its tracks, the DSC501 protects against a “second hit” risk from a second vehicle. Deployable vehicle crash barriers In another example, on May 22, 2020, an armed assailant attempted to drive through entryway gates at the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. The suspect was stopped almost instantaneously. A wounded sailor, a security team member, managed to raise a barricade despite her injuries. The shooter, the would-be trespasser, died in the incident, which could have been made much worse had the station not taken appropriate measures to keep intruders at bay. At this location, the totally self-contained Delta Scientific MP5000 mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers guarding that base carries an ASTM rating as high as M50, able to stop and disable a 15,000 lb (66.7 kN) G.V.W. vehicle moving at 50 mph (80.4 kph). The barricade tows into position to control vehicle access within 15 minutes. No excavation or sub-surface preparation is required. Once positioned, the mobile barricades unpack themselves by using hydraulics to raise and lower the barriers off their wheels. DC-powered pumps will then raise or lower the barriers. To remove, procedures are reversed and the barriers are towed away. Traffic control devices With so many traffic management scenarios, it is no wonder that Delta Scientific manufacturer’s more than fifty types of barriers and traffic control devices. Delta can assist any facility in controlling the flow of traffic through devices such as traffic arms, lights, spike teeth or even crash tested vehicle barricades.
Johan Cruijff ArenA will utilise innovative video analytics to improve visitor flow, optimise parking utilisation and offer fans an anonymous way to provide feedback about the stadium experience, among other uses. The Security & Safety Things IoT platform for smart cameras will integrate into the ArenA’s operational software to provide key insights into stadium operations and ongoing health and safety measures, especially useful since the pandemic. The partnership will provide a potential model for other organisations looking to deploy technology solutions to safely reopen. IoT platform for smart cameras Security and Safety Things GmbH and the Johan Cruijff ArenA are partnering up and will deploy S&STs IoT platform for smart surveillance cameras to enhance overall fan experience, optimise ArenA operations and increase visitor security and privacy. The ArenA is home to AFC Ajax and the internationally renowned Amsterdam Innovation ArenA (AIA), a living lab established by the ArenA and the City of Amsterdam to enable development and testing of innovative stadium and smart city solutions. Security & Safety Things IoT platform S&ST IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software The Security & Safety Things (S&ST) IoT platform and network of cameras is integrated into the ArenA’s dashboard software to provide information and analysis for safety and security as well optimisation of stadium operations and visitor engagement. “Every technology selected for our innovation environment is strategic because of the potential benefits not only to our ArenA, but to the City of Amsterdam and other stadiums and large event venues seeking technological solutions to help to re-open safely and operate their facility more intelligently,” said Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA. Sander van Stiphout adds, “The unique flexibility of the Security & Safety Things approach enables us to simultaneously deploy COVID-19 health and safety analytics along with business optimisation tools and easily re-equip the cameras with other analytic applications as our needs change.” AI-enabled video analytic applications A series of smart cameras on the S&ST IoT platform are installed in key areas throughout the stadium. Using specialised, Artificial Intelligence-enabled video analytic applications from the S&ST Application Store that run directly on each camera, each device will provide the ArenA with valuable operational insights. When the stadium reopens, crowd detection analytics will monitor social distancing compliance and visitor flow around entrances and food or merchandise kiosks. License plate recognition cameras will assist with real-time occupancy monitoring for parking and traffic flow optimisation. Queue detection applications Queue detection applications can be employed to reduce visitor wait times by directing fans to less busy areas and by providing the insights required to optimise staffing levels at peak times. In one specific area, a camera also provides the ability for visitors to provide feedback about their stadium experience in an anonymous and contact-free way by detecting the visual of a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ from a visitor, collecting only the rating without disrupting people flow. Smart camera platform We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner" “The flexibility of our smart camera platform and the ArenA’s mission of innovation are very well matched to produce the intelligence necessary to address real world issues of privacy, health and safety but also new and creative ideas for stadium and event management,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Security & Safety Things GmbH. Hartmut adds, “We’re honoured to be joining the Johan Cruijff ArenA as an innovation partner and to help them provide a seamless and safe visitor experience.” Smart surveillance camera system The camera system and how it is used complies with all European and Dutch privacy regulations. Furthermore, there are various advantages to this camera system, when it comes to privacy. These cameras are equipped with powerful processors that analyse the images directly on the camera, reducing the need for a constant video stream to be passed on to a central location, where it can be monitored or further processed. Instead, the cameras can be configured to send only the information about relevant events such as when a long queue is forming, groups of people gather too closely, or individuals are not wearing face coverings as required. Only then will respective images be passed along. This reduces the processing of visitors’ personal information to an absolute minimum as opposed to a traditional set-up where all footage is transmitted and centrally processed at all times.
Since its completion in 2017, the Gazprom Arena has served as the home ground stadium for the Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg. And as one of the host stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2021 Euro Football Championship, the Gazprom Arena must also satisfy the strict security regulations of FIFA, UEFA and ESSMA. When selecting the video security system, the managers responsible at Zenit therefore opted for a solution from the German manufacturer Dallmeier. With its patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system, Dallmeier guarantees the security of many stadiums all over the world. The objective was providing coverage with video security technology for the entire area surrounding the stadium, the entrance gate approaches, the rooms below grand stands, and the grand stands themselves in one of the largest video security projects ever undertaken in a football stadium. Video security system Under enormous time pressure, a high-performance system had to be implemented in the stadium with a capacity of 60,000 fans and yet had to remain adaptable and flexible in response to changing customer wishes as the project progressed. One requirement which from time to time presented the greatest challenge was capturing all areas of all the grand stands all of the time, so that unequivocal identification of offenders could be assured in all circumstances. In order to achieve this, the Russian Interior Ministry stipulated two key requirements for the video security system: Firstly, it must capture the entire grand stand area with a "minimum resolution density" of 250 pixels per metre (px/m). This also corresponds to the performance criterion defined in the globally valid standard DIN EN 62676-4 for video security systems for purposes of enabling identification of an unknown person. Minimum resolution density A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012 And secondly, the image frequency must not fall below a frame rate of 25 frames per second (fps). Because it is typically only the combination of the specified minimum resolution density and a fluid representation of events that can ensure incontestable evidence that is usable in a court of law. In order to meet these stringent requirements, the security managers invited a number of vendors to present their solutions in advance at Zenit's former home ground - the Petrovsky Stadium - to enable them to choose the right solution for the Gazprom Arena. A Dallmeier video security system has already been operating in the Petrovsky Stadium since 2012, and after a thorough evaluation of all the solutions, the operators decided to install a stadium solution from Dallmeier in the Gazprom Arena as well. Multifocal-sensor system Because compared with conventional camera technologies such as megapixel or PTZ cameras for example, the patented Panomera multifocal-sensor system from Dallmeier can guarantee coverage of even the largest expanses with the stipulated minimum resolution density and frame rate. And Panomera systems continuously capture everything that is happening in full resolution and allow high-resolution zooms - both live and in the recording and by several operators at the same time. This enables stadium operators to track and reconstruct relevant occurrences in detail both live and after the fact. Besides the technical superiority of the Panomera technology, another decisive advantage of the Dallmeier stadium solution was the innovative 3D planning approach, with which a digital reproduction of the Gazprom Arena was created. Conventional single-sensor cameras This makes it very easy to fulfil the requirement according to which at least 250 px/m must be assured literally "in every last corner": colour coding in the 3D simulation makes it possible to see exactly where the value has been reached and where a correction should be made, perhaps by setting up in a another position or using a different camera model. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras A further major advantage of this planning approach is the extreme efficiency of the solution: For example, Zenit St. Petersburg is able to provide security on the terraces throughout the Gazprom Arena with way less than 100 Panomera camera systems, covering all areas with at least 250 px/m and 25 fps. An alternative solution would have required a substantial four-figure number of conventional single-sensor cameras. Minimises uncertainty factors Apart from enormously high infrastructure costs (masts, cables, etc.) this would also have generated a practically unmanageable deluge of images for the video system operators. Another benefit of Dallmeier's 3D planning programme is the automatic generation of "CamCards" - exact configuration documents for every single camera. Armed with this information, installers on site know exactly which camera must be mounted where, how high and at what angle. The big advantage besides the immense amount of time saved consists in the planning reliability: It can be predicted with great accuracy how much labour the installation of the total solution with entail, because this approach minimises uncertainty factors. Total storage capacity Thanks to Dallmeier's unwavering assistance throughout the project, testing by the state technical personnel in Russia was also successful in the subsequent project phases, with the result that the stadium operators were able to begin operating the video security system after final project commissioning in good time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes Recently, over 1,000 single-sensor cameras have been installed in the Gazprom Arena in addition to the Panomera systems - these safeguard the remaining areas of the stadium. Due to the large number of cameras, the total storage capacity for the video security system amounts to more than six petabytes (equivalent to about 6,000 TB). High-performance recording appliances from Dallmeier are used to process this information. Largest stadium project Authorised personnel from various departments and stakeholders can access the system at 80 workstations. The video security system from Dallmeier has provided ample evidence of its performance capabilities and reliability in the running of the Gazprom Arena, not least during the seven matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On this subject, Karlheinz Biersack, Director Sales Eastern Europe/RUS/GUS at Dallmeier explains: "Of course we were delighted that the security managers of Zenit St. Petersburg also decided to rely on Dallmeier again for their new home, the Gazprom Arena. This success in the largest stadium project we have ever undertaken shows once again that Dallmeier's holistic security and solution approach - above all the patented Panomera technology and our unrivalled project and consulting services represent an immense benefit for our customers."
Round table discussion
The topic of video analytics has been talked and written about for decades, and yet is still one of the cutting-edge themes in the physical security industry. Some say yesterday’s analytics systems tended to overpromise and underdeliver, and there are still some skeptics. However, newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reinvigorating the sector and enabling it to finally live up to its promise. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new technologies and trends will shape video analytics in 2021?
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
When security topics become a part of current events, it is usually in a negative light. Security generally only becomes news when it fails, sometimes in a dramatic, high profile and tragic way. However, security failures can also shed light on lessons learned and opportunities to improve. Working toward better security can translate into the purchase of more goods and equipment supplied by our market. For additional insights into the intersection of security and current events, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Good news or bad news? How do news reports and/or current events influence the general public’s opinion of physical security?
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