How to Strengthen Security at Shopping Malls?

Recently, terrorists struck at a New Jersey shopping Spectrum Metro and the West Gate Mall located in Nairobi, and soon after these incidents, beefing up security at shopping malls has become an urgent requirement across the world. These attacks have shown the pressing need to strengthen and revamp security at malls.

For boosting security, the owners of shopping malls have to place great emphasis on training the security staff. Providing the necessary training to the security personnel guarding the malls is essential for improving mall security. The security guards should be given proper training on how to combat terrorists and infiltrators, how to use weapons, how to recognize suspicious factors, etc. Training of security staff should also include mock drills which are to be conducted at frequent intervals to create a better defence system for shopping malls. Guys! This is the first step and it is likely to play a pivotal role in enhancing mall security.

Secondly, mall management should make use of state-of-the-art technologies for monitoring activities inside shopping malls. Superior quality CCTV cameras should be installed at vantage points to keep a watch over all types of suspicious movements inside the mall building. Metal detectors should be used at the entry and exit points to inspect visitors and identify suspicious objects.

Thirdly, mall owners should also focus on gathering information from surveillance and sharing it with the local police. If the mall security and intelligence staff gets to know about the activities/plans of terrorists or criminals in the locality, then the information should be immediately shared with the local authorities. By working closely with the local authorities, the mall security staff will be able to formulate a better defence mechanism for shopping malls and secure the premises against attacks from terrorists, robbers and hostage takers.

However, it is seen that in spite of having trained security guards and adopting the afore-mentioned measures, malls are frequently targeted by terrorists, looted by robbers and held hostage by assailants. This is because the security men, deployed for guarding malls, are not equipped to handle emergency situations. The security personnel should be taught on what they have to do during a hostage or shooting situation, when someone is abducted from inside a shopping mall or when terrorists threaten to explode a bomb inside the mall building. They should also be provided training on how to ensure minimum loss of lives and property emergency fires, earthquakes and natural disasters.

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