As the incidence of major crime continues to rise in shopping centers across America, it is common to read headlines like these, pulled from the news: "At Least 3 Dead in Shooting at Mall in Columbia, Md., Police Say" and "Suspect arrested in fatal stabbing at Ridgmar Mall". In the Maryland mall incident, police reported that a gunman carrying a "large amount of ammunition" and makeshift explosives killed two workers, injured five more people, and then killed himself at a busy Columbia, Maryland mall.
As for the fatal stabbing at the Fort Worth mall, the report stated that the victim was stabbed in the parking lot, and then made his way into the mall, where he collapsed before being taken to the hospital. He died later from his injuries.
This small sampling of headlines and stories highlights the reason for growing concerns about safety in public places. For many years, it has been fairly standard for malls to use security guards and surveillance cameras to prevent crime and police problem areas. But it is becoming increasingly clear that, while these efforts are praiseworthy, they may simply not be enough to stop crime.
To understand why more is needed, examine the methodology behind the two strategies listed. First, consider the use of a security force. While it is true that the presence of security personnel does deter crime, many shopping centers and malls find it cost-prohibitive to hire enough staff to adequately cover the entire shopping area. With security staff concentrated on the larger traffic areas, criminals need only go to a lesser policed spot to perpetrate their crimes.
To address this problem, many malls and shopping centers have invested in surveillance cameras to cover hot spots for criminal activities. However video cameras do less to prevent crime than to simply record it. Video recordings rarely aid in criminal apprehension. The goal should be crime prevention.
A more effective tool in the arsenal of shopping mall owners is Stealth Monitoring’s live video surveillance. Proactive live monitoring can detect suspicious activity and act on that information in real time. Trained operators can sound alarms to scare criminals and deter crime. Stealth can call police while crimes are in progress, giving them enough notice to arrive while criminals may still be on the property to apprehend them. Live monitoring increases customer safety and peace of mind. It's an effective security measure to help businesses in their effort to deter crime. Plus it can reduce security guard and other expenses.
Stealth Monitoring is the leader in live video surveillance with over 9,000 watched cameras. Stealth specializes in proactive and intelligent live video monitoring that can significantly improve threat protection and police response. Clients include shopping centers, warehouses, office buildings, industrial facilities, apartments, car dealerships, schools and other businesses with outdoor assets. They range from large global enterprises to single locations. For more information about how live monitoring can work for your business, please contact us. We will partner with you to stop crime before it happens. Visit our web site and see actual videos of criminals being apprehended.