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Security cameras and surveillance systems clearly visible to fans can have both a positive and negative effect on behavior in stadiums. Should venues consider installing hidden and more covert cameras and security, instead?

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Squirealarms and Bosch improve security at Leicestershire County Cricket Club

When the UK’s Leicestershire County Cricket Club was looking for an upgrade to its existing CCTV system, it turned to local fire and security specialist Squirealarms. Squirealarms designed, commissioned and installed an integrated wireless CCTV and communications system for the club’s Grace Road ground, featuring advanced CCTV and PA technology from Bosch Security Systems.

Grace Road is a 6,500-capacity ground, which hosts all formats of the game at county level. It features two main buildings on opposite sides of the pitch; one of which houses the club’s offices, hospitality areas and changing rooms, with the other home to the media centre and the Mike Turner Cricket Centre, an indoor cricket school.

“The existing system was very basic, consisting of two cameras and VHS tape recorders. Reviewing any activity meant lots of fast-forwarding and rewinding of the tapes and consequently it was seldom used. The system was a cheap short-term solution to be compliant, but in fact the club was paying over the odds for the contract. An upgrade was desperately needed,” said Phil Atkinson, operations and compliance manager at Leicestershire County Cricket Club. “In addition we had problems with the existing telephone lines. Understandably we didn’t want to dig up the pitch for trenching, or the disruption of laying cabling around the group for either system, and so we decided to skip the manual cables and looked towards a wireless solution.”

Squirealarms worked with a specialist wireless provider to deliver the solution. “We deployed a carrier-grade wireless network at the ground; this offered the most versatility, high bandwidth and high security whilst remaining cost-effective,” said Richard Squire, managing director of Squirealarms. “We designed the security solution using Bosch IP products, including Dinion and Autodome cameras and the Divar XF Digital Video Recorder. Alongside this a Bosch PA/VA system comprising Plena amplifiers and horn speakers has been connected to the wireless IP network to provide ground-wide audio ability.”

Images from the cameras are transmitted wirelessly to the control room, where on match day the safety officer can review recordings whilst monitoring live images. Outside of hours, the cameras are linked to motion detectors so that when the ground is empty and motion is detected they move to view the relevant preset scene. The Divar XF DVR is also monitored remotely by Squirealarms. This enables an operator to view the site and speak directly to intruders via the PA system, or dispatch a mobile security guard unit in the event of any incidents. The images are constantly recorded and stored for 30 days using the Bosch Divar XF DVR.


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