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Dallmeier CCTV / IP surveillance solutions for amusement parks

Spectacular rides, exciting shows and extraordinary events – anyone who visits an amusement  park is mainly looking for fun, relaxation and thrills. But most importantly: Visitors want to be able to enjoy the numerous attractions without having to worry about their safety and security. Modern video security systems have therefore become an indispensable tool for theme parks. Once the CCTV/IP video surveillance system is installed, a host of other possible applications emerges, going beyond purely security-related purposes.

For any amusement park in the world the top priority is to create a secure environment so that families can feel comfortable and enjoy their trips. That is why high-value surveillance cameras monitor car parks, entrances, rides, or shops and souvenir stands in particular. Recordings from any person entering or leaving the park are digitally recorded and can be played back at any time.

The main reason for installing security cameras at the entrances is a scenario any theme park operator is likely to be afraid of: child abduction. However, visible installation of cameras and the knowledge that there is a video surveillance system is mostly sufficient to repel potential kidnappers.

Purse snatchers or thieves who might want to “help themselves” in the theme park's shops or steal from the parked cars of visitors have no luck thanks to modern video surveillance technology. Provided that the suitable technology was chosen, high-value surveillance cameras are nowadays able to produce detailed and true-colour images, even with difficult lighting situations such as strong backlighting. 

Financial benefit
Apart from enhanced security, amusement parks will often experience significant financial benefits by using high-value video surveillance systems, which means that the investment amortises quickly. One example is video surveillance putting a stop to ticket fraud.

Ryan Brady, Chief Operating Officer with Legoland UK, explains: “Some visitors try to pass their annual tickets on to friends and relatives, even when they know that it's forbidden. Our staff are therefore particularly vigilant with persons who are acting suspiciously.”

Should the suspicion be confirmed the security personnel will contact the rightful owner. Brady continues: “In most cases the owner claims to have lost the ticket or that it had been stolen. However, once we confront the owners with the video recordings and threaten to report the incident to the police, they quickly change their minds and tell the truth. They admit to having given the ticket to a friend or relative and say that they do not want them to be arrested.” That gets around and Brady is very satisfied with the result. “We have been using a highly efficient video security system by Dallmeier for a few years and the fraudulent use of annual tickets has decreased significantly.”

Recording of shows and events
Spectacular shows and events are also in most cases recorded by surveillance cameras. The recordings can be used for advertising purposes, pointing out the attractivity of the shows. Additionally, they can be very useful for investigating incidents such as accidents. Thanks to the recordings the cause of an accident can subsequently be determined quickly and easily. 

Valuable marketing hints
Intelligent video analysis systems contribute to making the visitors' stay even more pleasant and provide the theme park management with valuable information about the influx of visitors and the behaviour of the guests. What rides or shows are most liked? Which of the attractions are used less and thus have to be signposted more clearly or should be increasingly promoted? What are the peak times in terms of the number of visitors? Given that the park's management is furnished with sufficient information, it can use them for making decisions e.g. for human resource planning or creating special incentives or announcements that will help distributing visitors more evenly across the various attractions.

People Counting – Controlling the number of visitors
Another area of application is people counting, which involves counting how many visitors are on the theme park's premises at any time. For this kind of application, Dallmeier has developed the analysis “People Counting”. Compared with traditional counting systems, for instance light barriers, the Dallmeier system is capable of singularising persons, which significantly increases the counting accuracy. Using conventional light barriers would involve the possibility of counting errors such as two people passing through the barrier side by side being counted as only person. Statistical evaluations allow the management to identify times with particularly high numbers of visitors coming to the park and adjust the personnel planning accordingly. In addition, the data can be used to specifically assess the effectiveness of marketing activities.

Other important potential applications for people counting are presented by the broad spectrum of security and safety related concerns. With people counting it is possible, for instance, to ensure that no more than the maximum number of visitors, as is prescribed by the safety codes of both the police and fire department, are on the park’s grounds at any point in time. If the quantitative threshold should be reached, an automatic action can be carried out, such as an acoustical or optical alarm.

Object detection - Alerting staff in case of suspicious objects
With the help of modern video analyses it is also possible to issue an alarm if any objects remain within a certain area for a predefined period of time.

Especially in times of increased apprehension of terrorist attacks, suitcases, for instance, which have been unattended for a longer period of time are detected by sensors. The systems can also prevent the blocking of escape routes, fire rescue paths or approach roads for ambulances by parked objects, which could have very serious consequences in case of an emergency.

Perfectly secure – even at night
Amusement parks can benefit from video surveillance technology outside of their opening hours as well. Unwanted visitors, for example juveniles attempting to climb over a fence, need to be kept away from the premises at night, too. Intelligent video analysis systems like the Dallmeier “Intruder” are the ideal solutions for this kind of application as well. The system determines for example if an object approaches an area, from which direction it is coming, or how long it stays in a certain area. This means that intruders can be detected early on and an alarm can be triggered. Comprehensive validity checks reduce false alarms, which may be triggered by leaves swishing in the wind or animals, to a minimum without missing “real” alarm messages.

Reliability, scalability and ease of use
In choosing a suitable video surveillance system one of the priority considerations should be the reliability and operational stability of the system. This is the only way to ensure that conclusive image material is available in an emergency. If the system additionally has the LGC Forensics certification, the recordings are permissible as evidence in courts of law.

The user-friendliness of the installation is another critical point. Intuitive menus, flexibility to adjust to individual requirements as well as easy maintenance and service should be taken into account before a purchase decision is made.

Last but not least, the scalability of the system should be considered. Dallmeier surveillance systems are modular in design and therefore can be easily expanded or upgraded to new technologies. The investments made are thus protected for many years and the customer can rest assured that the system is always state-of-the-art.