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Real time video collaboration contributes to Le Tour safety

Vemotion Interactive : 01 July, 2014  (Application Story)
The UK stages of Le Tour de France will benefit from police and organiser collaboration using real time live video footage from around the course
Real time video collaboration contributes to Le Tour safety

The Tour de France’s tour of Yorkshire will be that bit safer thanks to Thirsk-based wireless live video specialists, Vemotion, whose technology is allowing and encouraging collaboration between several of its high profile clients. For the first time on the Tour, Police forces and local authorities in the North will have the opportunity to cement the entente cordiale. They will be able to share real time live footage securely from a number of camera deployments along the Yorkshire route of Le Tour.

“We have powered live video streaming from the lead vehicle in the Tour de France to the control room in Paris in previous years,” said Stewart McCone, Managing Director of Vemotion. “While it will be nice working closer to home, it’s all in a day’s work for us, really. We are proud to be playing such a key ‘behind the scenes’ role in the Tour and contributing to the success of the UK Stages.”

The Grand Départ starts in Leeds on 5th July, taking riders on a trip around North and West Yorkshire, before finishing in Harrogate. Stage 2 begins the following day in York, with riders circling Leeds and Bradford, before reaching Sheffield. Vemotion will allow critical points along the route to be monitored. The finale in Britain will be Stage 3, starting in Cambridge and finishing in London on 7th July.

Clients like the UK Police and the French Gendarmerie use Vemotion due to the sophisticated compression technology, with low bandwidth supplying high quality images in real time via Vemotion’s secure server. People either tend to assume CCTV footage is already easily available and widely shared from every event; while others actually question its value. Yet, as the tragic events at the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland have shown, it is not always the case that live CCTV is available everywhere, and it is missed when absent because CCTV is about far more than just ‘catching a crook’ – increasingly it is proving an essential tool in ensuring public safety and in this case, athlete and spectator security too.

“People outside the industry tend to think this sort of technology has existed for many years, when in reality it is a relatively recent innovation,” added McCone. “This is why we have so many clients in policing and security, with many interested in hearing ‘how we do it’.  

CCTV is not new. Mobile cameras and fixed cameras with live streaming is not new, but our combination of abilities to produce high quality streaming images over low bandwidth at relatively low cost – whilst offering at the same time a live ‘secure share’ facility to security partners – certainly is.”

Vemotion is a ‘plug and play’ solution, designed to dovetail seamlessly with existing hardware and infrastructure, so no new equipment or additional capex investment is required. The result is a next generation system that solves many of the ownership and hidden cost implications of maintenance and management that have plagued such systems in the past. Many would-be users have legacy equipment issues and they need a bridge from the past to the present that can see them safely into the future.

Given the power of the technology, an incident picked up in the UK would be usable as evidence for the Gendarmerie in France too; while the technology provides the ability to engage not just the key organisational agencies but the stewards along the route too; all delivering a real ‘entente cordiale’ on pan-European security throughout the UK Stages of Le Tour.
The British Transport Police in Scotland have confirmed they too will be using Vemotion equipment this summer, in an overt surveillance capacity as a key part of their security for the Commonwealth Games. The Police in Scotland will be streaming live images back from the field to the command and control centre – all adding up to a safe and successful marriage of sport and security this summer thanks to Vemotion.

“Hopefully, there will be no serious incidents for the Grand Départ to contend with, but CCTV provides the authorities – and indeed the general public – with real peace of mind. The eyes of the world will be on us, and it is critically important we get it right,” concluded Stewart.

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