Fulham FC using iPads to fight football hooligans

CASE STUDY Football hooligans have been known to cause a spot of bother in their time.

For the Premier League teams they purportedly support, these kinds of sports fans' can cause more than reputational damage, they can cause financial issues as well.

Any team whose fans spark violence or trash club property can find themselves on the end of significant fines now.

Keeping supporters under control is therefore of the utmost importance for any Premier League team. Hence why Fulham FC, known as one of the more genial English clubs, has invested heavily in its new IP CCTV system.

All watched over by iPads

When we caught up with Fulham's head of IT Nicolas Pendlebury last year, the club had just hooked up a new network with Juniper. He was also talking of implementing the IP CCTV system back then. Now we've seen it in all its (somewhat Orwellian) glory.

The biggest wow-factor of this new implementation initiated by IT, not the security team at Fulham is the use of iPads. Using an iPad app from software development firm Genetech, police can control a network of 63 HD cameras, all with their own IP address, located at Fulham's Craven Cottage stadium and Motspur Park training ground. Administrators can change camera angles or zoom in to focus on particular bits of action they want to see from their shiny Apple devices.

iPads aren't the only CCTV enabled mobile devices either. iPhones can access the app, whilst an Android version is on its way.

The resolution is far superior to previous systems. With the non-IP, analogue systems of old, zooming in to a suspect's face would only reveal something resembling a demolished cottage pie, where there was meant to be a human head.

Whereas suspects could simply deny their involvement before due to the ropey footage, all their misdemeanors are now caught in high-definition, with each box connected to the cameras featuring a 550 graphics card. With that kind of visual quality, there's no getting away with it.

"We now need to get a clear passport sized photo of suspects. We can now print that off and it's impossible to argue with," Pendlebury said. "In the past we just couldn't do that."

It's all delivered via a private cloud environment too, meaning police can review footage anytime they want and from any internet-enabled location. It all makes for a vastly superior CCTV operation.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.