The landscape of security is changing at pace. The devastating events we have experienced recently have led to a heightened need for security across all our sectors. Many property management teams have quickly reacted; increasing numbers of staff, rehearsing security procedures and developing their strategy further to include a number of new security measures.
For shopping centres, it is crucial management teams have a clear focus on the safety of their guests. Philip Jones, Westfield Europe’s senior security manager and chair of the BCSC security & safer shopping committee said: “Ensure everyone from the manager to the cleaner understands exactly what their role is and what the plan is. Planning, planning and planning – and exercising those plans – is key,” If people are trained diligently and an event takes place, it can be responded to quickly and effectively – minimising the effect on the property and the guests.
The developments in technology have never been more useful. Technology allows retailers and shopping centres to dramatically enhance the guest experience with; interactive shopping, Wi-Fi, beacons, mobile payments, interactive dressing rooms, price comparison, the list goes on. But, from a security perspective, technology can be invaluable to the safety of a property. Technology allows fast communication; if there is an issue, suspicious behaviour or activity, the risk or threat can be communicated promptly and dealt with instantaneously, allowing the prepared procedures to be implemented.
In order to eliminate risks, physical staff are needed on site as well as technology. Security needs to be visible to guests to make sure they are reassured and feel safe. Our clients have said – in addition to the clear demand for security protection – they are highly focussing on consumer experience. Security measures need to be implemented which ensure the guest experience is not diluted or jeopardised. All consumers need to feel safe so they are able to enjoy all of the schemes offerings to their fullest. If consumers can feel safe and secure; this will increase footfall, dwell time and the overall success of a scheme.
All management teams are working hard to combat and remove any threats they are faced with, and we are pleased to see the hard work and commitment across the industry.
With the recent devastating tragedies our country has faced, we wanted to take this opportunity to share our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to all affected by any of the heart-breaking events.
Seb Osborne, Facilities Management, Foundation Recruitment