Securing healthy town centre, retail park and shopping centre environments
England is in its third lockdown, which is stated to last until at least 15 February. While retailers are shut, security officers are still doing their bit to protect premises, and their presence will have increased importance when shops do reopen. The role of the security officer has evolved undoubtedly since the start of the pandemic. The primary aim has always been about protecting people, but the measures necessary to perform these tasks are now so much broader.
Security officers are no longer ‘just security’, but brand ambassadors who are required to be charming, friendly and approachable. Effective communication with shop staff and shoppers is also a priority, making sure everybody feels comfortable whilst shopping. Equally security officers must avoid being seen as domineering, and thus increasing the anxiety of vulnerable people.
Throughout the pandemic, ESG Security’s operation managers, have been on-hand to guide officers working in town centre, retail park and shopping centre environments. In addition to the usual day-to-day security duties, our staff are responsible for implementing Covid safety standards as defined by the client. This may include:
- Reminding people to wear face coverings where they are required
- Managing socially distanced queuing
- Entrance and exit monitoring
- Dealing with customers who are unhappy with the restrictions
The Covid vaccines we have offer hope, but a lot remains uncertain. We hope consumer confidence will return so that people feel safe enough to eat at restaurants and attend events in town centre, retail park and shopping centre environments. However we also have a responsibility to help visitors to these places feel safe. Given this responsibility, it is crucial security officers are properly supported by their company, managers and the general public.
The Government’s classified Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence-holders as ‘key workers’. Our security officers are still working to keep customer property secure, and support the reduced number of staff working in these buildings.