Lord's Cricket Ground has been the ‘Home of Cricket' since 1787, and is widely viewed as the game's spiritual ‘headquarters'. Owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Lord's is said to be the most important single place in the world for cricket, and plays a key role in promoting cricket in Britain and globally.
The host of major Test matches, one day internationals and historic fixtures such as Oxford versus Cambridge, Lord's is also home to the MCC's Indoor Cricket School, the MCC Library and the world famous MCC Museum.
The MCC hosts more than thirty matches at Lord's each year which attract around as many as 28,000 people per day. As well as monitoring crowd security and behavior, the 119 CCTV cameras and five DVRs in place at Lord's also protect the MCC museum, the world's oldest sporting museum containing Cricket's most famous artifact, The Ashes Urn.
Recently, MCC has made a commitment to improving the site and facilities at Lord's Cricket Ground to maintain its status as an iconic sporting venue for cricket across the world.
With changes planned across the site, Lord's surveillance platform needed an upgrade. Lord's had a legacy recording suite in place which monitored the surveillance and DVR architecture. Through this system, however, extracting data and images was a very complicated and time intensive process. The recording suite's user interface was not very user friendly, and staff had to spend unnecessarily long periods of time pulling out images and data needed for evidential purposes.
"Our recording system was outdated and becoming increasingly tedious to use. Whilst an upgrade was needed, it was important that we could find a system which could work with the DVR platform that was already in place to avoid the additional costs and disruption incurred by major changes to the surveillance infrastructure," said Alan Baxter, MCC's Head of Security.
Following an in-depth consultation from the Security Systems Division at ICTS, which advises and manages security implementation projects at Lord's, the decision was made to replace the legacy recording suite. A preliminary trial was conducted which compared the Mirasys solution to a competitive offering from Dedicated Micros. Both security and IT managers agreed that the recording suite from Mirasys offered a better all-round surveillance solution which included a simple user interface from which images and data could be quickly and easily extracted, as well as high scalability and excellent automation features.
The Mirasys recording suite was able to operate on the existing DVR platform in place at Lord's, which meant that the solution could be implemented and fully functioning in just three days. Mirasys and ICTS were able to work together to ensure that disruption to the site was kept to a minimum, saving both time and money for the Club. Following this initial implementation period, all 119 CCTV cameras and five DVRs at Lord's were accessed and managed by security personnel using the Mirasys system in place.
"After comparing Mirasys' technology with other vendor's offerings, it became very clear that Mirasys NVR Enterprise provided a more open platform that could connect easily with other systems. This was essential to ensure a streamlined implementation could be achieved." said Darren Watson, Head of Security Systems at ICTS.
As a highly scalable and flexible solution, Mirasys NVR Enterprise was able to address this challenge through the ability to support up to 5,000 network and analog systems, ensuring that Lord's future security requirements could be easily accommodated.
"Mirasys can accommodate new technologies as well as the customers' changing needs, which will allow Lord's the flexibility to choose the most suitable technologies for their specific needs now and in the future," Watson added.
Following the implementation of Mirasys NVR Enterprise, Lord's has been able to improve and simplify surveillance across the site. The key aim of the project has now been achieved: the complex user interface of the previous solution has now been replaced with a much more user-friendly and accessible solution.
"Whilst it was important to ensure that the recording suite would be able to expand and accommodate our future needs, the day-to-day use of the system has also been dramatically improved meeting our goals regarding manageability of the solution" said Alan Baxter. "With Mirasys, we can now easily access recorded images. The data can be simply explored and a particular incident can be found quickly with the help of the search tools."
By automating the search function, staff no longer have to spend time unnecessarily searching though clips. When found, incidents can also be exported as single images or video clips in common file formats and saved, on CDs, DVDs, or USB memory sticks. This means extracting data for evidential purposes is now very simple.
The flexibility that the system has been able to provide through the remote monitoring capabilities has further contributed to the success of the system. Real-time and playback windows can be viewed through either a client workstation or a browser, meaning that security staff at Lord's can have regulated access to surveillance data from the DVR's on-site, and remotely from their offices.
"Each member of security staff has regulated access to the system depending on their role and access requirements. This means that remote access to the recording suite is viable from an internal security perspective. Staff can now manage their time more effectively, accessing CCTV and metadata directly at the DVR or elsewhere on the site. This means that surveillance can now be efficiently monitored at all times regardless of location, improving security across the site," Alan Baxter added.