Video Surveillance for Sporting Events
Any event involving large crowds is a potential target for criminal activity. Sporting events are a prime example. Authorities must take great lengths to make sure such events are safe, that crowds remain in check, and that any threat of a large-scale disturbance such as terrorism is thwarted. Video surveillance is an invaluable tool in helping to ensure the safety of the fans, players, employees, and the facilities themselves.
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How Stadium CCTV can be Beneficial
Easy installation – Outfitting a facility with an IP (Internet Protocol) video surveillance system allows for easy installation and integration. Cameras can be mounted anywhere throughout the sporting complex, and communicate through an IP network.
Ensure safe entry and exit – The sheer volume of people at sporting events can cause uncomfortable scenes while entering and exiting the facility. Security cameras can monitor high traffic areas ensuring safe and smooth passage.
Crowd control – Emotions can get heated during a sporting event. Surveillance cameras can monitor the stands for fights and disturbances amongst the masses.
Protect the players – Players are at risk as well. There exists a threat of thrown objects and physical attacks from those in the stands to those on the playing field. Video surveillance can pick up on such activity alerting security to the scene before a situation gets out of hand.
Prevent acts of terrorism – Sporting events are seen by many as potential targets for terrorism. Surveillance cameras can be used to recognize potential terrorists. Football's the Superbowl, where video analytics such as facial recognition have been used to scour the crowds for known felons, is an example.
Remote access – An IP surveillance system with an NVR (network video recorder) allows video streams to be sent over the internet. Security workers can monitor footage and control cameras remotely from any computer with Internet access.
Risks of Arena Video Surveillance
Privacy – Cameras should only monitor public areas throughout the facility. Private areas like bathrooms are widely considered as off limits to surveillance.
Vandalism and damage – Cameras in public places could sustain damage from tampering, leading to lapses in recording.
Configuration of Security Cameras at Sports Facilities and Fields
Monitoring a sporting event can be a daunting task. The sheer magnitude of the crowd combined with the size of the facility itself makes the proper surveillance network all the more important. Consider the following factors when evaluating a video surveillance setup:
- What is the greatest security risk in your facility?
- Have there been any problems with crowd control at your events?
- What existing security systems do you have in place?
- Do you host any major events that bring in larger crowds than usual?
- Do you consider your facility at risk for acts of terrorism?
- Have there been confrontations between the crowd and the athletes in your facility? (Think of recent confrontations between fans and basketball players at NBA games)
- Have you had problems with employee theft?
- Is the facility attached to a parking lot?
- Do you have security in place at all entrances and exits?
- Does your facility feature restaurants and bar areas?
- What is the magnitude of your current security staff?
- What areas of the facility seem the most susceptible to criminal activity?
Setup Advice for Surveillance Cameras at Sporting Events
- Place cameras so that views of the entire crowd are accessible.
- Consider cameras with remote-controlled pan, tilt, and zoom functions so that suspicious individuals and disturbances can be closely watched.
- Place cameras near all entrances and exits to monitor the crowds and individuals coming in and out of the facility.
- If a parking lot is connected to the facility, use surveillance to deter crime involving parked vehicles.
- Consider camera systems with video analytics for advanced methods of monitoring in areas such as facial recognition, left objects, and abnormal activity.