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Inadequate Shopping Center Parking Lot Security May Lead to Lawsuits

Posted by Rick Charney on Aug 3, 2016

Shopping center, office, apartment, and other commercial property managers and owners should implement parking lot security and video surveillance measures to protect shoppers, employees, visitors, and residents.

Approximately 80% of criminal activity in shopping centers, shopping malls, pharmacies, and business properties occurred in parking lots. Lawyers take advantage of this with liability cases against property managers and business owners. The lawsuits can claim that property managers did not provide adequate parking lot security measures, such as video surveillance, security guards, and lighting, to protect employees and customers against criminal activity.

Consider the following when planning to increase parking lot security and surveillance.

Risk Management

Perform a detailed risk analysis for the shopping center or office building property that documents that proposed security improvements are justifiable and cost-effective. Include the benefit of protecting employees and customers and the savings in reduced crime, damage, and liability to the business, the property, and valuable assets. Customers may shop at a competitor’s location if they don’t feel safe.

Property Layout

Parking lot security is a challenge because there often is no way to control who has access to the property, such as with a central parking garage and security gates. Property layout is critical when strategically locating outdoor surveillance cameras.

The most vulnerable employees or customers are the ones who leave late. One idea is to reroute incoming and outgoing traffic to more remote areas. This increases natural surveillance and decreases the probability of criminal activity.

Response and Live Video Surveillance

A security camera system for a video surveillance system without a proactive response does little to increase the safety of customers and employees. Some property owners place emergency call stations in parking lots and garages to call guards or police during an emergency. These call stations provide immediate voice contact, an alarm, and a light signal. Live digital video or CCTV surveillance can significantly increase parking lot security. A live security camera operator can deter suspicious behavior or actual criminal activity with an audible speaker alarm or call to local police.

Lighting Conditions

Increased property lighting at night improves parking lot security multiple ways. Light increases the visual range and ability of outdoor video surveillance cameras and security guards to detect intruders. Lighting also helps deter criminal activity. It gives criminals fewer places to hide. They usually prefer to vandalize, assault, or steal in the dark – or other properties – where it is harder to see or identify them.

Parking lot security cameras should be placed and angled so they provide of a clear view of entrances, parking lots, assets, and typical locations for theft, damage, and vandalism, such as gates, dumpsters, and back alleys. The view should not be affected by bright lights. Too much light from the sun, headlights, or streetlights can degrade surveillance video quality.

Stealth Monitoring is a parking lot security industry leader in live video surveillance with over 20,000 video cameras watched nationwide. Stealth proactive video monitoring can detect and deter crime in cities in the U.S. and Canada while reducing security guard and other expenses. Stealth’s virtual security guard service can reduce or even replace security guards at a fraction of the cost. A remote surveillance Stealth operator can see suspicious activity in shopping center and other lots and throughout properties, activate a speaker warning to deter thieves, and call the local police.

Please contact Stealth today for more information to protect your shopping center. Visit our web site to see actual videos of criminals being apprehended at a range of commercial businesses such as shopping centers and pharmacies.