3 Security Practices That Help Shopping Centers Thrive
Securing a large, thriving shopping center can be a difficult challenge for many property managers across the country. Often seen as easy targets, keeping these large spaces safe is becoming increasingly challenging as new threats to the public continue to grow. Common issues that threaten shopping centers include:
- Shoplifting & theft
- Fraudulent accidents
- Property damage
- Active shooters
- Terrorism attempts
- Illegal dumping
- Large crowd assembly
So how can shopping centers prevent these issues on their properties? Thankfully, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce overall threats and bring more peace of mind to shoppers, retailers, and managers alike. Below are some security strategies property managers and owners can take to help keep their shopping centers safe:
1. Boost Security Training and Awareness Levels Among Shopping Center Employees
The typical shopping center has many types of personnel working within one property, ranging from property managers, cleaning crews, customer service representatives and beyond. Training these people to become increasingly aware of the environment around them can go a long way in preventing unwanted incidents from occurring. Although threats to a shopping center are usually not severe, the more effort that can be placed on pre-incident stages, the more effective security will be in preventing major problems. Additionally, it’s important that these people are trained to take appropriate actions in higher-risk scenarios to ensure everyone’s safety.
Here are a few things mall personnel should ideally be aware of:
- Techniques to screen the spaces around them entering and exiting the center
- How to recognize the difference between a serious threat and harmless incident
- Methods to transport and move cash on busy shopping days
- Ways to communicate threats with other personnel when needed
- Techniques to effectively report suspicious or unusual activity to the mall security team and/or 911, with valuable descriptions or photos of the suspect(s)
- Ways to answer customer questions and concerns when necessary
2. Ensure Parking Lots Are Properly Secured
A large amount of shopping center crime occurs in the parking lots. Typically, it is the owners and managers of these facilities that end up paying the price for inadequate security in these areas by seeing a rise in vandalism, lawsuits, trespassing and more. For these reasons, it is essential for companies to take parking lot security seriously. There are many things managers and owners can do to prevent crime in parking areas and take a proactive approach to boosting security.
The first step is to recognize the high-risk parking lots pose for security concerns. Managers can then work with security consultants to design a plan to protect vulnerable areas of the lot and plan for times when crime occurs most.
Ensuring that there is proper coverage of the entire lot greatly helps lower the occurrence of crime in these areas. Using quality security equipment, effective lighting techniques, and well-trained security agents are all great ways to lower the chance of criminal activity in a shopping center parking lot.
3. Utilizing High Quality Security Services & Equipment
A shopping center’s security team plays a crucial role in keeping everybody within the property safe. In fact, ensuring that your security system is appropriate and able to prevent incidents is one of the best ways to reduce shopping center crime; helping transform the property from a “soft target” to a “hard target”. There are incredible innovations in today’s security industry that are making real and meaningful impacts to safety levels at shopping centers across the country. Here are some ways you can analyze whether your security system is up to par and able to perform at an excellent level:
- Does your center have high quality cameras installed, capable of delivering high resolution images and video on a consistent basis?
- Are cameras installed strategically across the property to account for weak spots and vulnerabilities?
- Are security personnel well trained and alert on the job? Do they understand what position they play in the center’s overall security system?
- Does the center have advanced camera algorithms that can detect intruders (human or vehicle) during non-business hours?
- Does the shopping center have a good relationship with local law enforcement agencies?
- Is quality security footage available for review in case of accident claims, conflicts, lawsuits, etc.?
Professional Security System Surveillance
By following the steps above, shopping center property managers and owners can help build safer environments for everyone that visits their properties. There are many ways to raise awareness among center personnel and boost the quality of a shopping center’s overall security system.
Companies like Elite Interactive Solutions have fine-tuned the art of professional security system surveillance. Though incredibly useful for a variety of properties, advanced remote guarding is particularly beneficial to shopping center security.
To learn more about how Remote Guarding and professional security system surveillance can help your property boost safety levels, please reach out to Elite Interactive Solutions.