Protecting shopping centres
Security in shopping centres
It is often the case nowadays that security officers are not just there to be a security deterrent but to carry out a wide range of different tasks, effectively acting as part of the shopping centres management team. In most shopping centres the roll of security officers has changed from just patrolling the mall and looking out for anything suspicious, to focus on overall shopping centre safety, such as assisting visitors and identifying health and safety hazards. It is not uncommon for security officers to coordinate supplier activity and attend meetings with stakeholders.
The right approach to securing shopping centres
At ESG Security part of the site induction training for security officers is to make them understand that they are ‘ambassadors’ for the shopping centre as well as crime deterrents. There have been many studies into how visitors who interact with security officers, are likely to stay longer at the shopping centre and spend more money. A positive interaction with a security officer often puts the visitor at ‘ease’ and provides the visitor with a favourable impression of safety at the venue.
Creating this safe and enjoyable shopping experience starts with bringing the right people on board, then training them properly. Careful pre-employment assessments are vital to identifying undesirable employees. There are generally, more good than bad applicants. Good applicants are those who are able to defuse tense situations and listen to the instructions of management.
Cooperation with tenants
ESG Security strives to support individual stores within the shopping centre through regular communication with its employees. Our security officers also drop in when the stores regional manager is visiting to speak about crime prevention plans we implement in the mall and discuss any recent incidents. Where practicable ESG Security looks to work with local police forces to support our crime prevention plans, through the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).
Although we visit stores to reassure staff, we don’t take any action within the tenant area. We do take action in the mall areas, and we will provide a report to the store where theft has occurred. This is communicated to the stores staff, that way the duties are reinforced.
When security cooperates with the shopping centre’s tenants, everyone benefits. The store reduces shrinkage, the mall is kept safe and secure, customers keep coming in to spend money, and the crime rate is reduced.