FC Groningen launches face matching pilot
The project comes as part of a wider initiative “Accessible, hospitable and safe football”, assigned to the club by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. Within this pilot test, new solutions are being sought to further optimise the safety 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 supporters with a stadium ban 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.
“With this new solution, our security personnel can be used much more effectively,” 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, “Panasonic has always been a strong player in the security sector and the quality and reliability of our solutions are being proven by some strong installation growth. We are honoured 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 safer football league.”
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