WHAT’S so fascinating about this
installation is that it’s one of the first mid-sized applications of serious
megapixel cameras in Australia. Sure there are 1.2 megapixel cameras out there
but none are being viewed and recorded at the extreme levels of Canberra
Stadium. Canberra Stadium’s previous surveillance system comprised of 4 PTZ
cameras and one console.

“The old system was simply not doing its
job – it wasn’t functional and it was very difficult to maintain,” says James
Kiwi, events and operations manager for the Territory Venues and Events
Enterprises Services Division of the Australian Department of Territory and
Municipal Services.

Kiwi says that on one occasion when
surveillance footage was required for criminal investigation, the system failed
to record the required images. In another case, image clarity was so poor that
security personnel could not make out any detail.

“Because we host major international
events, we pushed hard to get an upgrade to the system and Avigilon was our
vendor of choice,” Kiwi says.

“Our goal is to provide a safe, secure,
enjoyable experience for our patrons,” he explains. “To stem the growing
security risk, we upgraded our surveillance from an antiquated and ineffective
analog system to Avigilon’s performance-driven HD surveillance system to
monitor all venue entrance and exit points.”

Canberra Stadium must have security
measures in place to address two different scenarios – event days and non-event
days.

“During events, we operate a command
center where we closely monitor the cameras and deploy a security team to
tackle issues on the ground,” explains Kiwi. “On non-event days, our
receptionist monitors the surveillance cameras from her desk.”

Built in 1977 for the Pacific Conference
Games, Canberra Stadium has been twice renovated in an ongoing effort to become
a leading international venue. The Stadium currently hosts more than 30
sporting events each year and has the capacity to seat between 25,000 to 28,000
spectators.

Facing the same escalating security risk
that has plagued the worldwide sporting scene in recent years, Canberra Stadium
is vigilant in ensuring public safety. To fulfill all its security
requirements, Canberra Stadium installed 11 Avigilon cameras ranging from four
to 16 megapixels, running 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

The cameras are located at all Stadium
entrances to monitor patrons and vehicles as they enter and exit the area. One
of the 16 megapixel cameras is located inside the venue to exclusively monitor
the tunnel where players and referees enter and exit the field.

Kiwi manages the system using AvigilonControlCenter
software with HD Stream Management and stores 30 days of continuous footage
using an Avigilon Network Video Recorder.

“We have had some issues in which
patrons have thrown cans or spat on players or referees as they entered or exited
the field through the tunnel,” explains Kiwi.

The Avigilon 16-megapixel camera gives
Canberra Stadium a fixed lock on the tunnel, with an 20 additional meters on
either side and above.

“If we do have an incident, we can now
see the entire area and easily identify the culprits.”

According to Kiwi, the Avigilon cameras
also come with powerful zooming capabilities to capture the most precise image
details. Using AvigilonControlCenter
software with HD Stream Management, the first open performance platform
designed to manage HD video, security personnel can instantly identify details
necessary for positive identification, leading to faster response times and
better overall protection.

The second Avigilon 16-megapixel camera
is located at the Stadium’s main entrance and Stadium officials have been very
pleased with its image clarity and scope.

“The 16-megapixel camera boasts a
fantastic arc of 180 meters from left to right and 150 meters from back to
front, delivering exceptional coverage,” Kiwi says.

With the primary goal to monitor patrons
and vehicles, the Avigilon HD surveillance system also boasts superior facial
and license plate recognition capabilities.

“We have been able to achieve positive
identification, even at night, since deploying the Avigilon surveillance system,”
he explains.

If the Stadium is in a lock-down
situation, security personnel can rely on the Avigilon surveillance system to
capture clear images of license plates and vehicle registration numbers to
permit or deny access to specific vehicles, further enhancing overall venue
security.

Canberra Stadium has also been impressed
with the Avigilon HD surveillance system’s ease-of-use.

“We don’t have full time security staff
managing our surveillance, so usability and manageability were key selling
features,” says Kiwi.

Because the Stadium is not a controlled
venue and allows individuals to enter the Stadium at any time, ease-of-use was
a particularly important consideration.

“Avigilon’s system is so easy to use and
navigate, our receptionist can monitor our surveillance cameras throughout the
day and quickly alert us to any potential problems.”

The Avigilon HD Network Video Recorder
has also proven to be an asset, storing between three to four months of
surveillance footage.  According to Kiwi,
accessing stored data is very easy and has been invaluable in two particular
cases.

“In the first incident, we were able to
copy footage of a fight onto CD and hand it over to the police, leading to
prosecution,” recalls Kiwi. “In a second case, a bus crashed into our building
and the driver denied responsibility, but we were able to quickly identify the
driver and prove he was at fault.”

Reducing security risks and costs

With the Avigilon HD surveillance system
in place at Canberra Stadium to track individuals from the time they enter the
building, Kiwi is confident that the $A105 million venue is completely safe.

“I have total faith that the Avigilon HD
surveillance system can deliver the image quality and facial and license plate
recognition capabilities required to assist police with criminal investigations
if necessary,” says Kiwi.

“Before, we simply could not guarantee
this level of security.”

According to Kiwi, the Avigilon HD
surveillance system is ‘110 per cent’ better than the previous system.

While improving security is the top
priority, Canberra Stadium has also achieved significant cost-savings since
deploying the Avigilon HD surveillance system.

“With Avigilon HD surveillance cameras
located at all entry points throughout the Stadium, we require 10 to 15 per cent
less personnel to monitor protected areas – a cost savings of about $22,500
each year,” explains Kiwi.

“Now, if a camera sees something in an
area without a security guard, we can dispatch someone within a matter of
seconds.”

Canberra Stadium has also been able to
deploy fewer cameras because of the power, image clarity, and performance of
its two Avigilon 16 megapixel cameras.

“It would require as many as 50 analog
cameras to achieve the same performance and functionality as just one Avigilon
16 megapixel camera,” adds Kiwi. “This translates into a cost savings of
between $A20,000-$A40,000.”

With improved overall venue security,
Canberra Stadium can also reduce the costs associated with patron outbursts.
For example, the Stadium experienced a break-in last year in which someone
vandalized the tunnel and playing field to the tune of $A20,000 in damages. The
same individual also crashed a medical cart – another $A20,000 expense.

“The break-in occurred at 3pm on a
Friday and no one saw the perpetrator enter the building,” explains Kiwi. “Now,
with continuous surveillance of our entrances – even on non-event days – we can
prevent this type of intrusion by deploying a security staff member to the
scene before it even occurs, saving the cost of damages.

“By deploying the Avigilon HD
surveillance system, we have effectively addressed security concerns at
Canberra Stadium and are now considering Avigilon for one of Australia’s
larger venues,” concludes Kiwi.

“With Avigilon in place, we are
confident we can ensure our patron’s safety.”

Fact file

Installed at Canberra Stadium are:

* Two 16-megapixel Avigilon cameras

* Nine 4-megapixel Avigilon cameras

* Avigilon Network Video Recorder

* AvigilonControlCenter software with HD
Stream Management.

“The 16 megapixel camera boasts a
fantastic arc of 180 meters from left to right and 150 meters from back to
front, delivering exceptional coverage”