When tens of thousands of people are in the same place simultaneously, how do you keep them safe? Answering this question for operators of sports stadiums and event arenas presents an ongoing challenge.

Those responsible for security and safety must weigh ease of access and public enjoyment of facilities against the need to protect visitors from accidents, fire, criminal activity, anti-social behaviour, and malicious attack. Here are five ways Synergy can help venue operators address this complex matrix of public safety requirements.

1. Detecting persons and behaviours of interest 

Integrating facial recognition software can help identify persons of interest, from previous visitors known to have violated venue rules to individuals featured on local and international watchlists. The system can be programmed to detect known faces and alert operators to their presence. What’s more, surveillance technology can do this without infringing public privacy rights.

Powerful rules engines, like the one employed by Synergy, also allow for suspicious behaviours to be detected – for instance, loitering near restricted access areas.

2. Detecting objects of interest

Rules can also be implemented to flag objects of concern, for instance, packages and bags left unattended. Video analytics can quickly ‘track back’ to identify who left the items and search recorded footage for identifying markers, e.g. clothing type and colour.

The same principle can be applied to create ‘no drive’ zones around entrances, exits and pedestrian areas, with ANPR integration supporting vehicle identification as required.

3. Enforcing consistent incident response

Legislation like the UK’s proposed Protect Duty acknowledges that operators of publicly accessible locations (PALs) – like stadiums – cannot guard against every eventuality. But they should be able to guarantee a consistent, well-planned response should an incident occur. This is made much easier with Workflows.

Workflows reflect an organisation’s standard operating protocols (SOPs) and guide decision-making based on live data from video cameras and other integrated technology. The on-screen guidance also dynamically updates as events unfold and incoming data changes.

As well as avoiding knee-jerk reactions during crises, using workflows ensures that an incident response does not vary based on the operators on duty.

4. Automating protective measures

Workflows can be programmed to automate specific activities rather than relying on human intervention. 

On a bigger scale, workflows can be used to automate and coordinate full-scale evacuation plans such as public announcements, lighting control, door controls and security staff dispatch. All are implemented as required based on emergency plans.

5. Collaborating with law enforcement and first responders

Remote access to incident data and remote evidence sharing are two more features beneficial to stadium and arena operators.

Both offer a secure means for control room teams to collaborate with authorised law enforcement colleagues and first responders. Based on a permissions system, the system can authorise access to live video footage and a range of real-time data. In addition, remote evidence sharing enables sharing of recorded video and other evidence logged as part of an incident.

Using solutions such as these means the right people have the information they need – when they need it – to best deal with and investigate the safety or security issue in question.