Case Study: Security screening visitors at a large London venue

SPO-NX stand-off threat detection deployed in London during a major event

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Executive summary
QinetiQ deployed SPO-NX – our stand-off concealed threat detection system – to screen visitors as they arrived at a major venue in London. The screening took place as visitors walked between a tube station and the venue, the route by which approximately 70% of visitors arrived.

The brief
The Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC) is a unit inside the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism within the Home Office. JSaRC sponsored the ‘High Footfall Screening’ project that aims to deploy innovative security technologies in real-life operational environments at a number of sites across the UK. Exposing these innovative security technologies to realistic operational loading helps develop robust concepts of operation for their use and allows end users to participate and develop their own concepts of operation.

QinetiQ have participated in one of the JSaRC sponsored operational deployment trials which recently took place at a major London entertainment venue. As a major London venue, the operator faces the challenge of securing its environment in a customer-friendly manner without impeding public access.

Our solution
We deployed our SPO-NX stand-off concealed threat detection system, which is suitable for mass transit, major events and similar security markets. We set up SPO-NX to screen visitors as they walked between the tube station and the venue, the route by which 70% of the total visitors arrived.

SPO-NX locates a range of potential threats concealed under clothing on the human body, for example improvised explosive devices, large assault weapons and contraband. It uses advanced passive millimetre wave (PMMW) technology and is therefore safe, with no RF emission,and because no detailed image of the person is created, there are no privacy issues.

Used as part of a layered security approach at the location, SPO-NX is particularly applicable to crowded locations where there is a high throughput of people and where airport-style security combs are impractical or undesirable. SPO-NX is used at the outer layer of this architecture and can provide early detection and warning of potential threats before a potential security threat can get too near the core of the venue being protected.

Outcomes and benefits
The SPO-NX deployed at the venue was able to screen people for large anomalies that could be threat items. These alarms were cleared at the exterior security perimeter of the multi-layered security architecture using the existing security staff, helping to secure one of the world’s premier venues during a high profile sporting event that featured some of world’s premier sportsmen. At peak times the system was able to screen up to 1,000 people per hour. 

The benefits of using SPO-NX include:

  • Detection of concealed threat objects under people’s clothing
  • Can be used at the external security perimeter
  • Outdoor screening allow potential threats to be detected at distance from the core secure area
  • Maintains throughput of people in crowded environments
  • Used as part of a layered security architecture
  • No privacy issues – only standard video imagery is displayed
  • Utilises safe passive screening technology

SPO-NX locates a range of potential threats concealed under clothing on the human body, for example improvised explosive devices, large assault weapons and contraband. At peak times the system was able to screen up to 1,000 people per hour.

For more information contact: customercontact@QinetiQ.com.

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