Leicester Football Club

24 July 2013

T​he King Power Stadium in Leicester is home to the Leicester City Football Club (LCFC). Seating up to 32,262 fans, the LCFC stadium is the 19thlargest stadium in England making crowd security absolutely crucial. Since moving to those ground 11 years ago, LCFC has relied on a traditional analogue system, so when it came to exploring an updated solution it turned to ADT for its expertise and help.

Understanding the state of play

To understand the full breadth of the issues involved and the type of tailored solution required, ADT worked together with LCFC to ensure the end result encompassed the right solution at the right price.

Whilst functional, the legacy system was inflexible and ultimately unsustainable which meant that a key part of ADT’s consulting process was analysing exactly the type of system that would address these issues and remain scalable for future stadium upgrades. The network manager for LCFC was convinced that an IP system would be the correct option for the future. First, ADT and LCFC had to gain a full understanding of the operational requirements and the way the systems needed to operate. ADT consulted with the various functional departments tasked with using the system. This consultative approach to the system design ensured that ADT provided a system that meets the needs of LCFC now and in the future. A major part of this process was for ADT to demonstrate a range of solutions during live matches, giving LCFC a feeling for how each option would work before ultimately settling on an the most appropriate solution.

One of the challenges for the installation was the prohibitive cost of replacing some of the cable runs for the new IP CCTV. To overcome this problem, ADT converted some of the existing coaxial cable runs to Ethernet, thus allowing the use of HD CCTV.

The solution offers secure and simple to access recorded video. This makes it intuitive for the operators to track suspects throughout the stadium and outside. The system can also offer secure remote access if required. This allows the operational staff to deal with incidents in an effective and timely matter and gives the ability to look back at any of the incidents as and when required.

A Tailored Solution for LCFC

The key to this solution was the careful preparation ADT went to, both in its proposal for the job and in working out the exact solution and its installation. After over a year from the initial meetings, the entire solution was installed in 6 weeks proving both the benefit of careful planning and also the installation ease of IP CCTV.

Ultimately, LCFC have wound up with a complete IP system with HD megapixel cameras. Future-proofed and flexible, this stadium solution is amongst the most up to date in the UK. The HD function means that the cameras are capable of capturing images in fine detail as well as being able to digitally zoom in to aid investigation.

The indoor seating and pitch are covered by 10 megapixel cameras relaying detailed images from the ground. There are also FullHD cameras in the ground and surrounding areas making it possible to track activity throughout the stadium area. The sophistication of the system allows the cameras to be recorded on motion only most of the time and switch to higher frame rate before, during and after a match. The footage from each game is then saved to a long term archive, giving LCFC access to all the home game footage should the need arise during the season.

“Our aim from the outset was to propose and implement a solution that was tailored to the needs of LCFC whilst remaining cost effective and straightforward to install,” said Ian Hodgson, Regional Managing Director - North of ADT. “The end result is a product of effective collaboration between ADT’s security experts and LCFC’s insider knowledge, and the results speak for themselves.”

Keeping an eye on the ball

The system had a positive impact from day one, this precise, organised surveillance system resulted in five arrests during the first game alone, making LCFC’s position clear – misconduct will not be tolerated and they have the means of enforcing this.

Such a system has also provided benefits in terms of insurance and health and safety. Local authority licensing laws are enforced to ensure crowd safety and a system like this enables the essential coverage required to comply with these laws.

Going forward, LCFC hopes other stadiums will follow its example. Statistics from the last year show that 51% [1] of all matches were police free, demonstrating that, most of the time, crowd control will fall on stadiums themselves. Each stadium has individual needs, making a tailored security solution imperative. However cutting edge solutions, like the one provided by ADT, are raising the bar in terms of what is possible.

[1] Home Office Statistics on Football-related arrests and Banning orders; 2011

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