Since the founding of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, planning and organising what is renowned as the world’s foremost sports competition, the Olympic Games, where more than 200 nations compete in the Summer Games every four years has grown to be a vast undertaking. With London 2012 swiftly approaching, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), has for several years, already been completely focussed with the task of staging a memorable Olympic and Paralympic Games in the UK’s capital city this summer.
With 26 Olympic sports and 20 Paralympic sports, it is the equivalent of staging 46 World Championships simultaneously. Events must be organised across 37 competition venues, with 14,700 athletes, 21,000 media and broadcasters and approximately 10.8 million ticket-holders. With the clear objective to ensure a real legacy to inspire people to join in and truly make the London 2012 Games ‘everyone’s Games’ it is of paramount importance to ensure the safety and security of all participating at every level across all the events to deliver an experience which everyone can enjoy.
With the Olympic Park itself being the size of 357 football pitches and with up to 800,000 extra visitors expected in London on the busiest day of the Games, the surrounding areas such as ‘the last mile’, the final miles walk from the main London Transport links to the London 2012 venues, will be a key focus for the various agencies and organisations involved with security. “In these locations electronic surveillance is one of the key tools not only for making the Games a secure event but, also for helping with monitoring and control of large groups of people and transportation management” explained Sean Taylor, Senior Manager of Panasonic London Olympic Project Office. “Our involvement with the Olympic Games and TOP sponsorship as Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment Category has been in place for more than twenty years but, Panasonic contributes to the success of the Games beyond sponsorship alone and is deeply involved with the Games as the primary supplier of AV equipment solutions. These range from large displays, broadcast equipment and of course CCTV surveillance solutions at event venues and live sites and even equipment used to support training programs of athletes such as the British Sailing team and Heptathlete Louise Hazel.”
A ‘Turnkey’ Surveillance Solution
In terms of size, LOCOG’s Security Overlay Project is one of the single biggest procurements of security products ever completed in the UK and with an event timescale of just 77 days with back to back multiple installations occurring simultaneously during the Olympic and Paralympic Games sports schedules the coordination of the project is huge with up to 50 different contractors on site at any one time.
One of the biggest challenges of the project is a requirement to deliver a completely workable ‘turnkey’ solution. With so many sites being used, which normally are not used for these types of events, the need to get everything installed and up and running correctly in the limited time between scheduled events is imperative.
Panasonic’s approach to this has been to address the specific requirements of the various customers and stakeholders, which has resulted in the pre-configuration of systems, asset tagging and even customising cables and packaging to make the workflows as seamless as possible.
What is more, Panasonic had established a pre-configuration team at the Panasonic System Networks UK Engineering Centre in Newport, where a modular approach had been taken to every aspect of the install project to assist with and help ensure a reliable and fast installation of the surveillance equipment.
Two types of Panasonic IP surveillance equipment will be employed at Games time, one static camera and one PTZ (Pan Tilt and Zoom) plus the recording systems Network Video Recorders (NVRs) WJ-ND400 and WJ-NV200 along with the associated monitoring and control screens.
The Panasonic surveillance solution will play a key role in assisting with crowd control, asset protection, monitoring of pedestrian and vehicle screening areas and as support for the venue security control centres, which are directly linked to the emergency services.
With Panasonic known as such a reliable brand in all the markets that it operates in and with a long history of providing electronic surveillance and many other AV equipment solutions to the Olympic Games, Panasonic is proud to be helping make sure the London 2012 Games are an experience which everyone can enjoy.