Mall Security- Flimsy or Fine?
Remember the day you got late at a movie show just because you had a security check to follow? Such is the case with a lot of people on a daily basis. Read on to know what all is required to maintain the wellbeing of the mall and its clientele.BY Amrita Premrajan | comments ( 0 ) |
As I drove into the massive parking lot of the newly opened mall in the city, I was stopped by a burly 6ft man in a uniform of a security guard. He smiled and requested the car boot to be opened. As he checked the car for any questionable object, he rolled a mirror like thing under the car as well. After A ten minute exercise, I questioned him ‘what is the purpose of all this?’ He answered saying it was just his duty. On my way inside I was stopped before entering the mall and was taken aside near the ladies queue to get my hand bag and mobile phone checked. When asked the same question. I got a similar response. Not being able to control my curiosity seeing whether all these measures are foolproof or not, I went up to asking questions to a security management service to get facts as to what national agenda has been formed in concerns with security.
Be it snooping under a car or hanging on the windowpane, the security men come up with the most innovative mall protection ideas. From beepers, metal detectors, body checks, hand bag checks, closed circuit televisions (CCTV), emergency response plans, walkie talkie, barriers, motion to glass break detectors. Security guards are also ordered to keep a scan on people for unusual behavior, dubious body language or suspicious bags left unattended. The mall security is not just for checking the common public but also there to countermeasure fire, crime, accidents, traffic, crowd control and even lost children.
The most vital issue in a mall safety is its guards and right training of the guards tops the priority list of the management to achieve perfection. The ones hired to safeguard the public should be of utmost priority of the mall safety recruitment service. The prime reason in lack of efficiency is the sorry state of security guards. A big reason for it is absence of literacy, low wages and no permanent duties assigned. “When we recruit a guard into our service we make sure of few qualities- metric pass, minimum height 5ft 7”, age between 20-45 and documental proof of physical fitness”, says Col J.C John, Regional Director (Western Mumbai), Tops Grup Mumbai.
The condition of malls is vulnerable as hoards of people rush in at any given time, some with a purpose and some in search of one. Many carry bags or packages which may carry bombs to detonators and since the consequences of an attack can be disastrous malls are considered to be soft targets for crime and terrorist activities. Most of the security agencies are hiring ex-army and police personnel for the security management as they not only excel in defense mechanisms but also have the capability to head, train and supervise ordinary men into the best guards the industry may bring into being.
According to Brig. Devendra Purushe V. Regional Director – Owner TOPSGRUPCSM, “An army experience helps a lot and holds a great value in this profession. Apart from giving motivational lessons to the guards, we turn them into tough specialised defense management.” From emergency evacuation routes to first aid management, a facility to provide training to the security guards should become mandatory that the public faces least of risks while shopping and common day strolling. With experience in national security the guard from Defence background makes sure that there is no lack of communication between security and mall staff along with a readiness to jeopardise their lives for the cause of duty. Brig. Purushe also adds at the end, “Our company tries to maintain a high standard and do a regular inspection so that the guards do not become laid-back in their duty.” With all the training and plan-of-action incorporated into a mall, security is improving.
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