FC Groningen has started a season-long test project with Panasonic’s face matching technology in its Noordlease Stadium. (CCTV cameras + facial recognition software)
The project comes as part of a wider initiative “Accessible, hospitable and safe football.” This initiative (rather a requirement – the Editor) assigned to the club by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. Within this pilot test, new solutions are being sought to optimize the safety further in and around the football stadiums of the Dutch first class teams.
At the heart of the installation at FC Groningen are four Panasonic Full HD security cameras with facial recognition software at the turnstiles. The facial images of the supporters get sent to the control room in the stadium, where Panasonic face matching software compares these to a database of registered supporters with a stadium ban.
When there is a facial match, the command room immediately receives a warning, after which the safety personnel can intervene. Due to privacy legislation, only the images of the banned supporters are saved, without any accompanying personal data. The full construction and network installation was done by Rotterdam-based company Radio Holland, which is responsible for all enterprise critical communication and security systems at FC Groningen.
Thoughts behind the project
“With this new solution, our security personnel can be used much more efficiently,” Dian De Bruijn Safety and Public Coordinator at FC Groningen explains. “In the past, the control room had to scan all 22,500 visitors individually visually, the cameras and software can now do that automatically for them, giving them a warning within seconds if something is detected. This way, their attention can be shifted to other priorities, such as ensuring continued safety on the stands and along walkways and passages before and during the game.”
Jeroen Cleijne, Channel Manager for Security Solutions at Panasonic Business, said, “We are honored to be able to contribute to this project and create a safer environment for Dutch football supporters so they can enjoy a match without problems. Through the project, we are helping contribute to a more secure football league.”