Charlton Athletic upgrades surveillance system

June 2002 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Having recently entered the ranks of the Premiership, Charlton Athletic Football Club has been busy upgrading its 20 043 capacity stadium and CCTV system. As part of this new system, Vista cameras and monitors have been installed by Swale Security Systems.

With a new two-tier wing and increased capacity, surveillance needed to be improved in and around The Valley - as the stadium is known - because the club had to rely on two-way radio for information on crowd activity in certain areas. The system also needed to be able to operate in a wide range of lighting conditions that the existing one was not able to cope with.

The new CCTV system now consists of 28 cameras in all, with the result that two or three cameras ensure facial recognition cover for every seat. All other areas, including walkways, entrances/exits to the club, players tunnel, turnstiles and the retail shop are also covered.

As part of the installation, one Vista VPCMH and four Vista VPCMX day/night cameras have been installed, the latter of which has been fitted with Vista VZ10200AP motorised 20:1 zoom lens. The VPCMX cameras incorporate an EXview (imaging chip for increased IR sensitivity for use in low light conditions and, consequently can be used in light levels as low as 0,04 lux. The cameras also feature sophisticated backlight compensation which helps prevent the problem of people being seen in silhouette when there is a high degree of light contrast, eg when a person enters the internal walkway from a terrace. Five of these cameras are on a pan and tilt unit, four of which are inside the stadium, to change the view of the cameras for maximum flexibility.

Control room

In the control room, four new Vista PVD monitors have been added. These high resolution (750TVL), 17" colour monitors enable images from the cameras to be seen at their best and have been mounted from the ceiling to maximise all workstation spaces.

The installation had to be completed by Swale Security Systems within six weeks, in time for the new season. A number of challenges presented themselves during this short time, including the fact that part of the existing system had to remain operational to protect spectators at the London Bronco's games, and the cabling had to be run across the tops of the stands due to the depth of concrete in the floor.

Even with all these challenges, the installation was successfully completed to the deadline set and the club is more than happy with the results. The new CCTV system at Charlton Athletic FC helps to make The Valley one of the safest grounds in the UK for spectators - something the club is rightfully proud of.

For further details contact Ettiene Swanepoel, Reditron on tel: 011 887 1546, e-mail:


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