Security Installation for Europe's Largest Shopping Center
06.05.2022 - Monitoring over 1,200 cameras covering 177,000 m2 of retail floor space
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) owns and operates two of Europe’s largest shopping centers; Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. The two landmark retail and leisure destinations annually attract over 73 million shoppers and generate £2.1 bn in retail sales. To keep shoppers safe, the security team uses Genetec Security Center. The unified platform helps the team better understand and respond to everything happening in their widespread environment.
Westfield Stratford City had been using Genetec Security Center for just over a year when Adrian Howles was appointed URW Security Manager at the center in 2017. He quickly recognized it had further potential to enhance security, decision-making and operations. “The value was clear from the outset and it was immediately apparent that Genetec would be an important strategic partner for today and tomorrow,” explains Adrian. “The platform is comprehensive, intuitive and, as part of our five-year strategy, the open architecture gives us so many options.”
From the outset Genetec Security Center ensured Westfield Stratford City’s security team could effectively monitor over 1,200 cameras from Axis Communications, covering 177,000 m2 of retail floor space. The solution unified video surveillance, access control and analytics to streamline everything from preventing theft and locating missing children through to pre-empting or responding to health and safety incidents.
Maximize Resilience, Save Costs
Implemented within around 25 % of URW’s global sites, Security Center is fast becoming the platform of choice for the wider group. On a site-by-site basis, the URW teams choose Security Center for its ease of use and ability to evolve and grow in line with each center’s needs. Using the Genetec Federation feature, the teams can also monitor multiple sites from a single platform. This allows them to build centralized control rooms, which further enhances resilience and costing efficiencies.
Following Westfield Stratford City’s lead, Westfield London has also deployed Security Center. This provides a common interface and user experience for security staff across both sites. URW is benefitting from economies of scale with regard to training and development while also helping to ensure greater uniformity in how each center responds to day-to-day security issues. Westfield UK continues to run its security infrastructure within its own on-site data centers, maximizing returns on past hardware investments. However, in the longer term, the team expects to transfer more of its security infrastructure to the cloud. “Knowing the system is cloud-ready and can support centralized monitoring if and when we need it is very attractive,” says Adrian. “We can realize significant cost efficiencies and further improve our high levels of security and resilience.”
Today, Westfield UK continues to find new ways in which Security Center can add value to the business. One example of this is the integration of Genetec Security Center with Westfield’s Delivery Management System (DMS), which has resulted in a considerable annual saving. The DMS system automatically sends Security Center a list of approved delivery vehicles which have access to the site each day. When AutoVu SharpV number plate recognition cameras detect these vehicles at the gated delivery entrance, the system seamlessly grants access to the right service yard, with no manual intervention required.
Westfield UK has also deployed Genetec Mission Control at the two centers. This decision management system helps to further streamline processes, maximize efficiencies and ensure standard operating procedures are followed. Pre-set with Westfield’s standard operating procedures, the software simplifies tasks for the operator by guiding them through every step in their response to a variety of situations. For example, in the case of a lost child being reported, Mission Control prioritizes actions for the operator such as getting a description, communicating information to those on the ground, and reviewing camera footage for possible sightings. “Front-line security is an all-encompassing role so we rely on technology to support our people in responding predictably and effectively to whatever gets thrown at them,” explains Adrian.
Finally, the rollout of Genetec Clearance, the cloud-based digital evidence management solution, has facilitated General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Upon receiving a request for evidence, the Westfield team can now automatically blur faces or parts of the video and instantly generate a secure link to be shared with the approved agencies. Furthermore, they can watermark, set time limits and manage user access rights retaining greater control over how that footage is further used and shared. This has massively reduced liability concerns surrounding the possible misuse of footage that must be retained for a significant period of time. “As publicly accessible sites that welcome millions of visitors, we receive thousands of requests for footage each year from visitors, retailers and law enforcement,” explains Tom Lish, Assistant Security Manager, Westfield Stratford City. “After validating requests, we used to have to manually redact innocent parties in the footage and then burn it on to DVDs but thankfully much of that is now automated, saving us significant time and resources”.
With ambitious growth plans and two rapidly evolving sites to manage and secure, Westfield doesn’t yet know how their Genetec deployment will continue to grow. However, they are confident in the system and its ability to continuously adapt to their evolving requirements.