Malls attract some of the largest crowds of any other establishment—especially during holiday season. There are so many people in many varied places and often times have a complex layout of multilevel floors, movie theaters, restaurants, gaming zones, and a sprawling parking lot.
An influx of patrons often times causes a complicated and confusing environment, thereby making your shopping mall vulnerable to all kinds of criminal activity—thefts, vandalism, child abductions, robberies, and multiple petty crimes, all of which add up to major losses of revenue.
While malls may feel like public places, they are actually private property, so security officers have limited abilities. Mall security officers are often referred to as “fake” police officers. However, their function is completely different—they deter crime with their presence, but do not carry weapons or confront criminals. They enforce mall policies, deter disruptive and criminal behavior, and help get assistance for emergencies. Considering the above-mentioned layout of large buildings, open plazas (outside and in), delivery areas, parking lots, etc., it is obviously a challenge for any amount of security personnel to monitor every nook and corner—not to mention the associated costs of hiring additional security staff.
Video surveillance cameras can ease the burden of mall security personnel and also enhance the ability to protect all of your assets throughout the complex. Please see some proven advantages/benefits below:
(1) Security cameras deter thieves by their presence alone.
(2) Criminal acts (violence, pick-pocketing, child abductions, etc.) can be curbed and stopped as they happen with proper monitoring of video surveillance footage.
(3) Customer confidence rises when they know they are safe, both inside and out. This fact alone can increase overall revenue and visitors to your mall.
(4) Allows for employee monitoring of inappropriate work behavior, employee thefts, and knowing who to prosecute after the fact---no more unfair, hearsay accusations.
(5) Video footage allows for prosecutors and investigators to identify suspects, should any crime occur.
Even though the latest surveillance technology provides many security advantages, it provides little benefit if the cameras are not set up correctly or in the correct locations. The most important areas to consider should be high-traffic areas (entrances, exits, corridors, and areas where high activity is common). A grouping of cameras might be necessary in larger and more condensed areas, such as large lobbies and food courts.
Other areas to consider should be parking lots and garages, accessibility to any public transportation, restricted areas, staircases out of view, and loading and unloading docks.
Cameras allow video footage to be taken during all types of weather conditions and in night/low-light conditions or in full daylight. Cameras can also be programmed to be activated only upon motion, designated specific time periods, or 24/7….or a combination of all three. The footage from multiple cameras can be viewed from one location, from anywhere around the world. Also, after cameras are installed it is felt they can be better utilized in a different location, they can easily be removed and reinstalled.
The implementation of surveillance security cameras is the obligation of every shopping center. Not only will the cameras reduce the potential for theft and other crimes, but they will also improve the way consumers and staff feel by offering them a safer environment to socialize, work, and shop.