This article was originally published as an article over on my LinkedIn.
It has been adapted & amended slightly for use here
I recently came across and read this article on here about how a stadium in Australia had upgraded its CCTV system and now has '820 new cameras'.
I immediately wondered:
How many people will they need to monitor all those and make use of the data?
Now, in this particular case it seems the CCTV system is quite sophisticated, with facial-recognition features etc., which, as I understand it, do not necessitate the level of human / operator input that the more 'traditional' deployment of CCTV does.
I've had many discussions over the years about CCTV, its usefulness on events, its deficiencies etc. I've been in a wide range of control rooms, some using CCTV, some not, some over-reliant on it, some understanding its limits and leveraging it effectively.
Here's the thing:
A CCTV system is only as good as the HUMAN resources monitoring the screens, and humans are bad at monitoring the screens.
It's a sweeping generalisation.
One person looking at hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people moving on multiple screens is going to 'see' very little. We simply can't process so much data / so many inputs. It's impossible.
Naturally, a trained CCTV operator will 'see' more than a novice but still - they're missing WAY more than they're seeing.
I've seen Event Control rooms rely heavily on CCTV, at the expense of good, experienced eyes on the ground. I've also been in EC rooms where the CCTV has proven seriously useful too.
We just need to be realistic about what it can and can't do and what we can and can't do WITH it.*
It's not the holy grail and it shouldn't replace resources deployed on site.
Just a thought.
* Facial-Recognition and identifying banned people looking to gain entry to our events aside. . .