Shopping mall patrons have a right to feel safe and secure while on premises, whether shopping or walking to their car.
According to Quartz, several cities, including Bangkok, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Jakarta, have begun implementing security checkpoints, scanning devices and car sweeps at select shopping malls and hotels. Security measures range from guards sweeping customers with hand-held metal detectors, to checkpoints with airport-style x-ray machines.
Inconvenienced patrons have apparently coined the increased measures “Security Theater.” However, the efforts may have reduced the impact of the deadly January 14th attack in Jakarta.
Quartz reports, “The attackers were apparently targeting the mall, according to a security expert in The Guardian, but were stopped by security guards and taken to the checkpoint, where they set off their bombs. That suggests a potentially much deadlier attack was foiled not by special intelligence or security measures, but by the routine checks that are in place at many major public buildings around the world.”
By comparison, U.S. shopping malls are vast, open venues with multiple entry points. Mike Rozin, a security consultant for large U.S. malls, states, “In the United States, there is no appetite for making malls closed environments, where there’s one entry point with a metal detector and X-Ray. We’re far from that here, and that’s not necessarily bad. But [the more] effort we can put on the pre-incident stages — before you have a guy with a gun or explosives — the more effective it will be.”
Time Magazine points out that shopping mall owners can reduce crime by making security proactive, rather than reactive, without inconveniencing shoppers with invasive security checkpoints. Implementing mall parking lots and garages with choke points, license plate readers, surveillance cameras, bright lighting, and security guards will help to reduce crime outside the mall. Inside, overt security guards help to deter crime, while plain-clothes security teams and surveillance cameras monitor suspicious patron behavior.
Shopping Mall Patron Rights
Shopping mall and parking lot owners have a responsibility to protect patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. Should they fail in this duty, victims may elect to seek justice and pursue a legal claim for any injuries or wrongful deaths, which occur as a consequence.
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