As places where large volumes of people meet and purchase goods, shopping malls are vulnerable to a broad range of risks. From pickpocketing and robbery to the rising threat of terrorist attacks and mass shootings, shopping malls must give their security system careful consideration to ensure all potential risks are taken into account. In the digital era, video monitoring and other high-tech tools are often used to provide shopping malls with a greater degree of safety, but these should be supplemented by a physical presence of experienced security teams to provide maximum protection.
Important Components Of A Mall Security System
When considering improving the security of your shopping mall, there are several components to account for. From installing CCTVs to training staff on how to respond to shoplifting, your shopping mall must be ready in the event a crime is committed. Outlined below are the most critical aspects of a mall security system that should be included:
Monitoring and recording the activities that occur in all areas of the shopping mall are both essential for avoiding and responding to criminal activities, medical emergencies and other types of incidents. CCTV and bullet and dome cameras are available to cover different angles of the mall.
CCTV cameras are the most popular option for monitoring common areas of the mall, such as walkways, parking lots and food courts. These cameras can provide excellent image quality and give security officers a clear picture of what is occurring throughout the mall in real-time. They should be connected to a surveillance room where they will be monitored by trained security staff for any potential criminal activities. They are also useful in the aftermath of incidents for both insurance purposes and investigations with law enforcement agencies.
The cameras should be placed strategically to ensure they capture the best video and cover as much of the mall as possible. Many times, the presence of these cameras is enough to deter crimes. Shops and restaurants within the mall should also have security cameras positioned near cash registers to avoid theft.
Some of the other benefits of CCTV cameras within shopping malls include helping to avoid vandalism, identifying emergency situations such as fires before they grow out of control and helping to locate lost children in the mall.
Emergency preparedness is another key component of a good shopping mall security system. Mall security officers know how to identify potential threats and address them swiftly. Shopping centers must be prepared for all manner of crisis situations, from weather emergencies to bomb threats and shootings. The influx of individuals entering and exiting the mall throughout the day at multiple locations makes it easy for active shooters to slip into the building and put shoppers and employees at risk. Having a good emergency preparedness plan in place allows for a quick response and can save lives.
One of the most common crimes at shopping malls is shoplifting; experienced mall security are trained to recognize indications of shoplifting. They know how and when to safely confront a shoplifter, and they have been trained to defuse situations, and also in the proper use of force when thieves become threatening, or violent when apprehended. Professional security officers are familiar with their state’s shoplifting laws as well as the scope and reach of their authority.
Different types of alarms can be used throughout a mall to address different concerns as part of a comprehensive mall security system. Some areas may be equipped with silent alarms which will alert police to thefts that are in progress, while others may be better served by audible alarms that draw attention and deter thieves.
Access Control Systems
Access control systems are important in shopping malls for restricting access in areas where only specific personnel are permitted. Modern access control systems track when and who has entered and exited the building, which can be useful during investigations as well as emergency situations. Biometrics may be used to ensure locks are only opened by authorized individuals.
Equipping the exterior of the mall and long hallways with proper lighting can deter theft and other crimes. Mall parking garages and parking lots are often the scene of car thefts, assaults and carjackings. Proper lighting eliminates hiding places, and demonstrates an environment of safety to employees and visitors.
Security officers are an indispensable part of a solid mall security system. Roving patrols can deter theft, stop shoplifting and other crimes in progress, and provide direction during emergency situations to ensure appropriate crowd control.
The presence of uniformed security officers can provide employees and shoppers with peace of mind. They can also offer customer service, giving shoppers directions and any other assistance that is needed. They can escort customers and mall employees to their vehicles at night to ensure they arrive safely, enhancing the overall reputation of the mall as a place to work and visit.
Reach Out To The Shopping Mall Security Professionals
American Protection Group is one of the nation’s top providers of mall security services. We assist mall owners and investors with implementing a comprehensive security system aimed at preventing loss due to theft, robbery, trespassing, vandalism and safety hazards. This is accomplished through monitoring services, alarms and trained officers. Contact us today to learn more about our industry-leading services.