Interactive board manages crowd control

Blackburn Police have adopted an innovative way of using interactive technology to aid crowd control and the fight against football hooliganism.

Nov 17, 2005
By David Howell

Blackburn Police have adopted an innovative way of using interactive technology to aid crowd control and the fight against football hooliganism.

Faced with potential public disorder after handling a crow in excess of 29,000, Blackburn have developed a new approach that allows commanders to identify in real-time where their officers are and be able to quickly deploy them to any hotspots that develop.

Blackburn Police turned to a local company to find a solution to their problem, which came in the shape of the PRESENTA board – a simple to use interactive whiteboard provided by Promethean AV Distribution. Used in conjunction with a

digital projector and PC, the PRESENTA board allows for maps and building plans to be

viewed and manipulated by the control team on demand. The PRESENTA board is supplied with Promethean’s Px interactive software which enabled officers to annotate directly on to maps and stadium plans. By using colour coding, controllers could then plot the position of their officers on the ground and the movement of fans around Blackburn before and after the game.

Inspector Graham Keyte commented: “By being able to annotate directly onto maps and plans and colour code our officers, we had a much clearer view of what was going on and where our officers were in real time. We were in a position to respond to potential trouble and redeploy resources much more efficiently.

“We were also much more flexible in our planning and could adapt where necessary. Rishton is one area of the town that we did not have a large police presence, however, on the day we received intelligence that led us to believe that it could have become a potential trouble spot. The PRESENTA board and Px software allowed us to quickly call up a map of the area, identify where our closest available officers were and how they could be best positioned to prevent an incident should one take place. We were delighted with how the new technology worked and the ease with which it could be used. We found the software highly intuitive and it had a significant impact on the success of the operation.”

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