Shopping malls are a fixture in the American landscape. ‘Going to the mall’ is quintessentially American, and something we have exported all over the world. Whether a huge metropolis, a sprawling suburb or even a tiny hamlet, there will invariably be a shopping mall nearby where people can congregate to buy, browse, run errands or simply have an outing with family or friends. Shopping malls here will mean those enclosed areas in which shops, supermarkets, cinemas and other retail spaces are integrated with each other which can be entered and exited from within a large and usually covered space. It’s a one-stop experience for many.
Unfortunately, where there is heaps of merchandise and money in tills, there is the potential for theft and robberies. Shopping mall stats are stupendous: there are over 109 000 shopping malls in the U.S. and shopping mall retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales in the country. It is little wonder that shopping malls are at such high risk of crimes being committed, both petty and not so petty. Malls are afflicted with petty pilfering and shoplifting to even violent armed robberies.
Although enclosed, which gives them the air of being ‘safe,’ shopping malls are soft targets for all these crimes – and even worse. Shopping mall owners and management need to take note of that.
That is where OSP can step in, by offering shopping mall owners and management teams security solutions that could include:
- a fully integrated security risk assessment for a shopping mall
- considerations regarding the size, location and demographics of the shopping mall and those who frequent it
- critically important is the tenant mix of the shopping mall – these tend to be very mixed, thus presenting the mall with multi-faceted risks
- surveillance / CCTV / motion sensor and other allied capabilities and needs for the mall, including general walkways, in-store (especially large anchor stores) and external to the mall
- shoplifting potential gap analysis
- preparedness for a more hostile incident, e.g. heist or invasion, shootout in the mall, etc.
- security gaps and needs analysis for the mall and sections thereof
- security in parking areas and parking lots
- vagrancy issues
- security personnel profiling / hiring / vetting
- internal investigation policies and procedures by mall management, especially with regard to petty, non-violent incidents
Any shopping mall simply cannot be complacent about security issues. Not in this day and age, unfortunately. These security issues must include both internal issues in the various retail spaces in the mall (i.e. breaches by shoppers / customers or employees in specific stores) and overall security preparedness of the mall.
OSP’s commitment to any shopping mall is that we provide our esteemed clients with security solutions that are customer-oriented and customized to suit the mall, and, where needed, individual tenants. The safety and security of a mall in its entirety is our objective and is what drives the exemplary service that we offer. This approach and philosophy is what OSP stands for. It is what we do – and we do so with pride and conviction.