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Case Studies

Guildhall has 24/7 protection

Portsmouth Guildhall, the grade two listed venue in the centre of Portsmouth, sought a new security system to help the in-house security partner, Showsec. Crowd management was the main priority, and the need for video evidence of any site incidents.

The Guildhall at the south coast city has 1.2 million visitors a year. The venue has bars, lounges, galleries, a stage, concert hall and café. The multi-use building hosts concerts and shows, weddings and conferences. It is also home to some small businesses. The building is used throughout the day and often well into the night.

Nick Coles, head of technical services for Portsmouth Cultural Trust, the company responsible for managing the Guildhall, was tasked with finding a security company. The Portsmouth-based installer Christie Intruder Alarms (CIA) was chosen to design and fit the new CCTV. CIA selected Grundig CCTV equipment, supplied by Security Buying Group, Grundig’s UK agent.

Some 16 IP cameras are mounted inside and outside the building. Camera types included vandal-resistant and bullet cameras, and fixed domes, all with day-night infra-red illumination. A Grundig network video recorder (NVR) provided 24/7 continuous recording with Full HD (1080p) image quality.

As the Guildhall is an historic building, the CCTV had to meet heritage visual and installation requirements, including being discreet and sympathetic to the building as a whole. The ornate, external stone work could not be damaged or drilled. CIA offeredbespoke, window mounts, allowing the bullet cameras to be fitted to extended brackets on adapted window panes. These were used on the outside of the building and protect various entrance doors and the public areas around the building. The system uses power over Ethernet (PoE), which keeps the cabling to each camera to one cable, simplifying installation and maintaining the visual appearance of the building.

Showsec uses the system for the safety of Guildhall visitors. It records continuously, so no incident is missed, providing evidence from both inside and outside the building. Nick Coles said: “Indoor incidents range from members of the public meandering into ‘no access’ areas, to arguments and theft. The camera images can be used to inform building management processes, like improved signage in the case of accidental trespass. Outside incidents tend to be more serious and relate to public disorder offences and theft. The images are of such high quality they are also used for evidential and prosecution purposes, following a criminal incident. In the last 6 months alone, the police have used footage recorded by the Guildhall system on four separate occasions, to investigate incidents in the public areas outside the building because the image quality is so good.

“At peak times, such as on the days of concerts and gigs, the system is used live to ensure the safe movement of a large number of people round the venue. It is utilised to direct staff to busy areas, provide a quick response to any problems and to check all the areas of the venue are being run efficiently and effectively. The outcome is happy customers, who are treated well and kept safe.

“We are very happy with the new Grundig system and the service we received from Christie Intruder Alarms. The system was professionally installed in early summer of this year and since then we have experienced a significant improvement in crowd management and venue efficiency; a reduction in incidents and a higher prosecution rate for crime. The system is economical to run, despite its continuous operation, and uses the camera’s integrated IR lighting at night, powered over Ethernet cables. This keeps our energy bills to a minimum, despite offering around the clock surveillance.”

For more on Grundig Security products contact +49 (0) 2191 374 9883 or visit

About Christie Intruder Alarms Ltd

Address: 212-218 London Road
Tel: 02392 265111
Fax: 02392 265112



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