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Rugby stadium invests in Genetec Security Center to enhance efficiency

Rugby stadium invests in Genetec Security Center to enhance efficiency
Located just 16km southwest of the center of London, England, Twickenham Stadium is the Home of England and the headquarters of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Twickenham’s 82,500 seating capacity makes it the second largest stadium in the United Kingdom, and fourth largest in Europe. It is the world’s largest stadium entirely dedicated to rugby. The venue hosts all of England's home test rugby matches and many other high-profile rugby events and concerts for renowned international artists.

In fact, it was the award as host nation of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 which prompted Twickenham Stadium to undergo a full site assessment. After a thorough evaluation, Twickenham decided that it was time to modernise its video and access control systems. The stadium’s security team needed improved functionality and non-proprietary systems which would allow for uninhibited growth. They also wanted reliable video quality to facilitate the identification of any suspects and clearer detail of what was happening in the stadium environment.

Search for the Right Solution Leads to Security Center

Under the direction of Phil Parker, Head of Security at RFU, Twickenham was looking for a security platform that would be feature-rich yet easy for operators to use. “I didn’t want to restrict the RFU to one single vendor, so an open platform was vital. More importantly, we wanted to move away from having to switch between different pieces of software. I wanted to make the lives of my operators easier by having all of our systems using one platform,” explained Parker.

After a market tender, the Twickenham team narrowed down the bids to only those that met the criteria and then held meetings with each integrator. The buying team watched demos, researched the market, and met with security solution vendors. Twickenham also met with vendor customers who were operating each solution. After spending a considerable amount of time and energy investigating each solution, the team was confident in their final decision – choosing Vindex Systems, a market-leading systems integrator, and their proposal for Genetec Security Center. Security Center is a unified security platform that enables the combination of video surveillance, access control, automatic number plate recognition technology and other key systems within one intuitive solution.

“With each step in the buying process, the decision became easier,” explains Parker. “We were blown away by some of the platform’s capabilities, and were impressed with the level of integration with other systems. We felt confident that if an interesting new technology came onto the market, Genetec would ensure that we would be able to access its capabilities. That was one of the biggest selling points for our team.”

Implementing Unified Security One Phase at a Time

With the World Cup approaching, Twickenham planned a phased implementation. The first objective was getting the existing video surveillance system converted over to the Genetec platform. There are currently 110 cameras being managed by the Omnicast IP video surveillance system of Security Center. The flexibility of the system allowed Twickenham to keep most of their analogue cameras by using IP encoders, and also to add some new Axis Communication network PTZ dome (AXIS Q60) and 360-degree cameras (AXIS M3007) to expand coverage around the stadium. Re-using equipment saved the stadium significant deployment time and costs.

Shortly after installing the new security platform, the Twickenham security team spotted two men trying to add bank card scanners to a nearby ATM located outside of the property. They were able to inform the banks and the police, provide high-resolution video as evidence, and help mitigate fraud which would likely have affected visitors to their stadium. “From a review perspective, the quality of the video has been far superior to what we had previously. We can pull up video, magnify part of the frame, and dig deeper into a scene, which gives us a much better perspective,” says Parker.

Ten doors were also added onto the Synergis access control system of Security Center. Phase two will include a full transition from the existing access control system over to the unified platform. Twickenham also unified a Digital Barriers analytics system within Security Center, adding virtual tripwires along the fenced perimeter.

“With Security Center, our operators are better equipped to handle potential security breaches. If someone tries to climb the fence, or open a door, our operators know about it immediately. They also don’t have to monitor a variety of different applications like before. The system alarms and the associated video comes through one platform which makes the whole response process more efficient,” says Parker.

Intuitive Features Heighten Operator Confidence

Operators navigate the massive stadium using a layout of their venue through Plan Manager. This map interface within Security Center enables them to quickly locate cameras, respond to alarms and check door statuses. According to Parker, this feature adds to the platform’s ease of use, “Some systems are so complicated that it limits your workforce’s ability to be both confident and efficient. When you are running the operations of a stadium, that’s unacceptable. Security Center is a very intuitive platform that empowers our operators to make better decisions.”

On match day at Twickenham stadium, security operators work from two different control rooms. The Threat Level Management feature within Security Center has been programmed for match-day activity, presenting operators with the specific tools required to monitor the stadium and respond to events. Beyond securing the venue, operators also monitor crowd flow through the stadium and identify any operational issues such as long queues or required clean-ups.

While it is just the beginning, the RFU is thrilled with the progress at Twickenham Stadium. “I can’t recommend Vindex Systems and Genetec highly enough. Both companies have been very responsive in helping us migrate our technology. They have an open-minded, friendly and helpful approach, which has been refreshing. We look forward to completing the phases of implementation so that we can use Security Center to its full potential,” concluded Parker.

Product Adopted:
Network Cameras, Others

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