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How Can I Prevent Loitering at My Shopping Center?

Posted by Rick Charney on Mar 5, 2018

There are a number of ways for shopping centers, shopping plazas, and other types of retail properties to prevent loitering, a common problem at many businesses. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) defines loitering as people hanging around a place of business, inside or outside, without buying something.

They identified three issues associated with loitering:

  1. It can discourage customers coming to a place of business
  2. It can lead to harassment and other problems.
  3. It can create a bad image for your retail property

Two suspects walked behind a Glendale, Arizona shopping center at 1:56 a.m. “No Trespassing” signs were on display at the retail property. A Stealth Monitoring security operator called local police. Responding offers arrived, patted down the suspects and placed them under arrest.

Ways to Help Prevent Loitering at Your Shopping Center

The LAPD recommends the following action to prevent loitering at retail properties:

    • Property managers need to take action when they first see a potential problem develop. If too much time elapses, the group could increase and potentially lead to violence or other types of criminal activity.
    • Keep the parking lot clean and always maintain a clear view of it
    • Post signs that say ‘No Loitering’ and ‘Parking Restriction’

In addition to these tips, the LAPD stresses that property managers and business owners should never place themselves in a dangerous situation.

Security Management, an ASIS International publication, wrote an article on various ways to discourage and prevent loitering. Because many loiterers are homeless, it is important for property managers to learn how to balance customer safety concerns with the rights of the homeless. Improper or aggressive handling of the homeless could tarnish a shopping center’s reputation.

There are some crime prevention tactics that security directors can apply to discourage the homeless from entering a property, including reducing access to used smoking materials and discarded food, as well as eliminating potential sleeping spots.

In Calgary, Alberta, police successfully deterred sex-trade workers with energy-efficient low pressure sodium (LPS) lighting that changes color and hue, making prostitutes look less attractive. LPS lighting can also help prevent loitering because it may cause headaches after 20 minutes of exposure.

Proactive Video Surveillance

Live remote video surveillance can help deter loitering and trespassing at commercial properties. Trained operators watch security cameras in real time. If they see suspicious activity, they can activate an on-site speaker warning and call local police.

Stealth Monitoring, a privately held company with U.S. headquarters in Dallas, TX, and Canadian headquarters in Toronto, ON, is North America’s leading provider of live video monitoring solutions. We specialize in proactive and intelligent video monitoring technology that can significantly improve threat detection and police response. Our security solutions feature advanced technology, coupled with human intelligence and efficient processes, to help detect and deter crime while reducing security guard and other expenses. We are also heavily invested in the future of computer vision and artificial intelligence. We are actively developing new technologies that can enable executives with valuable business intelligence data to improve their day-to-day operations and decision-making abilities. We have over 500 employees, 15 offices, and 3 redundant live video monitoring control centers. Our team proactively monitors 20,000+ cameras daily, resulting in more than 15,000 deterred crimes, 500+ arrests and 35,000+ analyzed customer videos every year, securing peace of mind for business owners throughout North America. Our clients include construction sites, shopping centers, apartment buildings, auto dealers, office buildings, industrial facilities, distribution yards, cannabis operations, and other businesses with outdoor assets. They range from large global enterprises to single location companies. Our proactive solutions can help reduce external and internal theft, vandalism, property damage and provide you with actionable business intelligence. We can even reduce or replace security guards at a fraction of the cost – up to 60% savings.

Please call toll-free (866) 382-3873 or contact Stealth today for more information to protect your outdoor assets. Visit the Stealth web site to see real videos of criminals being arrested at construction sites, multifamily apartments, shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, auto dealerships, and other commercial real estate properties.