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The ultimate guide to shopping center security

January 03, 2019

The ultimate guide to shopping center security
It’s that time of year again—the holiday shopping craze is in full swing. It’s also an ideal time to discuss a topic that’s often overlooked: shopping center security.

Since shopping malls are among the most common places where large groups of people congregate, they’re particularly susceptible to security threats. Here are the most common:
  • Theft and shoplifting
    In 2016 alone, U.S. retailers lost  $60 billion to employee theft and customer shoplifting.
     
  • Vandalism
    Young people congregating in malls are most often the perpetrators
  • Physical altercations
    Confrontations are highest during high-traffic periods, especially major sale days like Black Friday.
     
  • Unauthorized entry
    With so many people entering and exiting malls and ongoing deliveries being made throughout the day, it can be difficult to monitor who comes in and out. Without proper precautions such as video surveillance and physical monitoring by trained personnel, dangerous, armed or unauthorized delivery people can pose a security threat to shoppers and retailers.
     
  • Automobile-related crime
    Mall parking lots, where lots of vehicles are left unattended and unmonitored for extended periods of time, are prone to vandalism, theft and break-ins. Roughly 80% of all crimes committed in shopping centers occur in parking lots.
     
  • Emergencies
    Though relatively infrequent, fires, floods and other natural disasters can prove devastating when they occur. Armed attacks, which have become all too common in other venues in recent years, also pose a serious threat.
     
  • Missing children
    Unfortunately, this is an all-too common problem. With crowds and lots of other distractions, it’s easy for kids to get separated from their parents. So, it’s important for malls to have proper protocols in place when such incidents occur.
 
3 tips for maintaining security in shopping centers
The ongoing challenge for mall management companies is how to ensure security for both shoppers and tenants without detracting from a pleasurable shopping experience. Good security protocols coupled with the right technology can help reduce risk of unauthorized access and the security threats cited above. Your retail customers may look to you to help them determine the best technology to meet their requirements.
  1. Access control systems are essential to preventing unauthorized entry, especially after hours. An integrated electronic access control system is the most optimal solution because it greatly simplifies the management of access control throughout a shopping mall.
  2. Access controlled doors can be managed from a single interface, making it easy to assign doors to tenants and create doors that can be shared by tenants.
  3. Advanced security systems, including the latest security cameras and video surveillance technology, are critical to monitoring all shopping mall activity. It’s important to monitor and record the activities happening throughout the mall to prevent any criminal activity, mishap or medical emergency. Different closed-circuit television (CCTV) and bullet- and dome-shaped cameras are now available with a wide variety to choose from. Due to continual innovation, video surveillance technology keeps getting better and more affordable.
To learn more about shopping center security, access control systems and advanced security technology, contact Ingram Micro’s Dave McClary.