Google+

Miami Security - Executive Protection - Security Guards Miami - Body Guards - Event Security - Investigation Services

Shopping Center Security Guards

Shopping Center Security

Family Security Advice

Shopping Centers & Malls

Shopping centers come in all sizes from the giant regional malls to the small strip-center with only a few stores. What they have in common is a parking lot. This is where your family is at greatest risk because of the “nature” of a shopping center parking lot. The most common violent crimes committed in the parking lot are stranger-on-stranger purse snatch and strong-arm robbery and occasionally carjackings and abductions.

If you think about it, we are all strangers in a large parking lot. Violent criminals can blend in with the rest of us and get in close proximity fairly easily. Criminal predators can walk right by us and we will allow it because of the public setting. Next time you go to a large shopping center sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and observe how easy it would be for a criminal predator to approach and attack you or your family. Shoppers walk to and from their cars totally consumed by their thoughts and thinking about what they are going to do next. Watch shoppers as they approach their cars fumbling for their keys. They will turn their backs and attention completely away from those nearby to load their shopping bags into the car, and get children and infants installed inside the vehicle. Most shopping center and parking lot abductions and carjackings occur precisely at this point.

Awareness is Best Defense

To protect your family in this setting the best defense is awareness. Awareness will allow you anticipate the potential danger and plan ahead for the next time you go to a shopping center. Planning includes selecting a safer time to shop (daylight) and arranging not to shop alone if possible. You can plan where to park (i.e. not next to a large enclosed van) and in high traffic areas. You can plan to scan the area for suspicious males before parking and exiting your vehicle. You can also plan not to park or exit your vehicle if suspicious males are in the area. Families should agree in advance to exit and enter their vehicle quickly and lock the doors. Families should be trained to look around their vehicle before approaching and retreat if anyone suspicious is loitering in the area. They should be trained to return quickly to the shopping center and alert mall security or call the police. A little awareness (educated-paranoia) is healthy and can keep your family safe.

  • Be aware and alert to predators in the parking lot
  • Plan when to go and where to park
  • Do not get out of the car if not safe to do so
  • Scan the area around your car as you approach it
  • Teach your family to enter and exit the care quickly
  • Return to the store if anyone looks or acts suspicious
  • Call the police and notify mall security of any criminal activity

Shopping Center Security

Our family is at the center of our personal universe. Most people would do almost anything for the sake of their family. That includes protecting them from known dangers and harm. This becomes increasing difficult, at times, because we live in an open society where we share the same public places as violent criminals like at shopping centers.

Family Security Plan

Whenever your family walks out the front door they leave that zone of protection that you have created. The secret to keeping your family reasonable safe once they leave home is to have a family security plan. To develop a family security plan you must give careful thought to the public routines of each family member and think of ways to make them safer from the violent people in the world. The best way to accomplish this is to hold a family meeting to discuss this plan and play what if using different scenarios. For example, what if we need to go to the shopping at the mall? What precautions can we take to be safer in the parking lot? What if someone approaches to rob us while walking to our car on the street at night? What would we do and how would we react? Where would we go and who would we notify in case of emergency?

Most people have no such family plan and have not met as a family to discuss what if situations. When or if a criminal assault does occur, the family will not be prepared and will have to rely on instinct in response to the incident. What if their response instincts are wrong or their reactions inappropriate, under the circumstances?

Shopping Centers

Shopping centers come in all sizes from the giant regional malls to the small strip-center with only a few stores. What they have in common is a parking lot. This is where your family is at greatest risk because of the “nature” of a parking lot. If you think about it, we are all strangers in a large parking lot. Violent criminals can blend in with the rest of us and get in close proximity fairly easily. Criminal predators can walk right by us and we will allow it because of the public setting.

Learn to Observe Conduct

Next time you go to a large shopping center sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and observe how easy it would be for a criminal predator to approach and attack you or your family. Shoppers walk to and from their cars totally consumed by their thoughts and thinking about what they are going to do next. Watch shoppers as they approach their cars fumbling for their keys. They will turn their backs and attention completely away from those nearby to load their shopping bags into the car, and get children and infants installed inside the vehicle. Most shopping center violent crimes occur precisely at this point. The most common violent crimes are purse-snatch and strong-arm robbery. Less common but potentially more serious are the crimes of carjacking and abduction.

Awareness is Important

To protect your family in this setting the best defense is awareness. Awareness will allow you anticipate the potential danger and plan ahead for the next time you go to a shopping center. Planning includes selecting a safer time to shop (daylight) and arranging not to shop alone if possible. You can plan where to park (i.e. not next to a large van) and in high traffic areas. You can plan to scan the area for suspicious males before parking and exiting your vehicle. You can also plan not to park or exit your vehicle if suspicious males are in the area. Families should agree in advance to exit and enter their vehicle quickly and lock the doors. Families should be trained to look around their vehicle before approaching and retreat if anyone suspicious is loitering in the area. They should be trained to return to the shopping center and alert security guards or call the police.

  • Be aware and alert to predators in the parking lot
  • Plan when to go and where to park
  • Do not get out of the car if it doesn’t appear safe to do so
  • Scan the area around your car as you approach it
  • Teach your family to enter and exit the car quickly
  • Trust your instincts of you see someone suspicious
  • Return to the store if anyone looks or acts suspicious
  • Ask if the shopping center does parking lot escorts

Shopping Center Security

Shopping center security has become a necessary component to safely operate large regional shopping centers. Let’s face it; no one wants to shop in an environment that is perceived to be unsafe. In some shopping centers, hordes of teenagers descend on the property and sometimes walk in large groups causing disruption. Sometimes gang members try to claim a shopping center as part of their turf. Other undesirables like aggressive panhandlers, intoxicated persons, and loud and obnoxious persons sometimes create a disturbance. Sometimes crimes are committed where security officers detain someone for arrest. Because of this, shopping center managers have established policies to cause the removal of those unwanted persons who commit crimes or violate mall rules while on the property.

What is a Trespass Warning?

If you think about it, a shopping center is private property that’s open to the public. This means that the invitation to come onto the property can be revoked by its operators. In the security vernacular, the word trespass has been coined as a term-of-art used to describe this policy. To trespass a customer means to formally warn the offending customer that they are to immediately leave the premises and not return under threat of criminal prosecution. The trespass notification can be written document or just a verbal warning. Obviously, written is better but not always practical. In either cause, the trespass warning must be communicated to the offender and should contain the precise language used in the state criminal statute. Trespass warnings can be given for a day, a week, a month, a year or permanently. However, temporary trespass warnings are difficult to enforce. For example, can you legally trespass a 15-year-old minor child for life? Technically speaking, once a person is formally trespassed they can be arrested if they return. Be advised that wholesale use of trespass warnings are sometimes viewed as a tactic to rid the mall of unwanted minority groups or others exercising their constitutional rights.

Who Can Issue a Trespass Warning?

Anyone who represents the property owner or leaseholder can revoke permission to come onto private property. The shopping center landlord, property manager, and their employees would certainly have the authority to trespass someone. Mall security typically is given the responsibility for trespassing undesirables. A tenant within a shopping center can only trespass a person from their shop, but not from the entire shopping center. Sometimes a tenant will call mall security after catching a shoplifter, and ask them to trespass the shoplifter from the entire mall. The trespass warning is equally legal if given verbally or in writing as long as it contains the proper language. Written and signed trespass warnings are better for proof purposes. The problem arises when a security officer illegally detains a mall patron for the purpose of filling out the respass form or requiring the unwanted person to stand still for a photograph.

Can Trespassers be Legally Detained?

One of the most misunderstood and abused shopping center practices is how to legally handle persons about to be trespassed. Many security officers believe that they can temporarily detain a person for violating a mall rule and process them. Many times I hear stories of mall security officers who detain teenagers for fighting or walking in large groups or for using foul language. These offenders are sometimes handcuffed and transported to the mall security office.

Once in custody, the rule violators are required to produce ID, sign formal trespass warning forms, and stand still for a photograph. After the teenagers are released, the photos and trespass forms are maintained in a mall filing system for future reference. The intent of these records is to be used as evidence of trespassing should the offender return. This process sounds okay to many mall security officers, but is patently illegal in most states. You can’t take someone into custody for violating a mall rule like walking in groups, using foul language, or being too noisy. Also problematic is posting a trespassed person’s picture on the office bulletin board for all to see (sort of rogue’s gallery) when they haven’t committed any crime.

When to Detain Trespassers

Security has no more authority than an ordinary citizen, in most states. At best, security officers can ask rule violators to leave the premises and not return. Unless a state statute specially allows for it, security officers cannot detain someone or take him or her into custody unless they have committed a crime. If a crime is committed then the officer must make a citizen’s arrest before detaining a person. To legally make a citizen’s arrest, a minor crime (misdemeanor) must have been committed in the presence of the person making the arrest. Security officers cannot rely on another person’s word that a misdemeanor crime occurred.

This whole business of stopping a person for a rule violation, transporting them to the mall security office for processing, and formally trespass-warning them is improper. Also, improper is requiring mall miscreants to stand in place while security officers obtain ID, bring forms and a camera to photograph them before issuing the trespass warning. To argue that the offending teenager volunteered to be detained for the purpose of being trespassed and processed is risky and should not be practiced.

Should all Trespasser be Arrested?

No! There are many exceptions, for example, when trespassed teenagers return with their parents. Most malls issue second and even third warnings for non-violent re-offenders. As always, using good judgment is important.

However, there are times when detention and arrest of criminals and trespassers is proper. Legitimate troublemakers and known criminals who have been trespassed previously sometimes should be arrested. The mall has an obligation to keep the premises reasonable safe. If mall security learns that a previously trespassed person has returned it can create a liability, especially if the person is known to be potentially dangerous.

If the person previously trespassed is not believed to be dangerous then discretion can be applied, depending on mall policy. Most mall security personnel simply remind the offending person that they are unwelcome and reaffirm the trespass warning. Trespassing is not a strong criminal charge and should be reserved for the more deserving offenders. The courts have been known to drop trespassing charges, in the interest of justice, without consulting the retailer. This can be a trigger for a lawsuit.

Use Good Judgment

Some shopping center security departments get carried away with the whole trespass concept. The trespass warning is just another tool that can help rid the center of the most troublesome persons. As a matter of policy, not all trespassers should be arrested. Sometimes second or even third warnings make more sense to rid the property of undesirables. Trespass warnings may not be enforceable across city or county lines making blanket banishment from all stores within a chain meaningless. Trespass policies are not designed to be a license for security officers to abuse state laws or violate the civil rights of mall visitors.

Violation of a mall rule is usually not a crime. The most that mall security can do is to advise, warn, and request mall visitors to act appropriately or to leave. What happens if an undesirable refuses to leave after being issued a trespass warning, can you arrest them for trespassing? The answer is usually, no, because the offender was initially invited onto the property as a member of the public and hasn’t left the property yet. In most states, the crime of trespassing won’t take effect until the next time they return. In some states refusing to leave when asked and warned completes the crime of trespassing. But in the exercise of caution, most shopping centers have a policy to call the police to remove the person who refuses to leave rather than attempting a citizen’s arrest.

Escorts off the Property

Make sure those persons who are asked to leave the shopping center actually vacate the entire premises, including the parking lot. Most major shopping centers escort and observe the offending persons off the entire property. This practice allows for clear enforcement of the trespass policy. The security escort should not be harassing or forceful.

by Chris E McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM

Our miami security guard company may customize security services if needed depending on the specific requirements. Other security guard services readily available include shopping center security guards, shopping center cctv surveillance, temporary security, permanent contract security guard, plain clothes security guard, fire watch, mobile patrol, construction site security, private security, VIP Protection, concierge security, personal protection and many more. Our Miami Security Guard Services, patrol officers and security officers are all licensed and insured to provide security services in Miami and all of Florida. Call our Miami Security Guard Company today and experience guard service and shopping center security guard services like you never have. Our dedication and commitment is to provide unwavering service to every client who may need to hire patrol or hire security services in Miami, Florida. Services are provided in all of South Florida including, Miami-Dade, Broward County and West Palm Beach Fl.

Our Miami Security Guard company also retails and installs residential and commercial security systems in shopping centers , retail stores, malls and other retail stores in miami, Broward and south florida including, Shopping center Video Surveillance Cameras, Surveillance Products, CCTV security camera, Shopping Center Video Surveillance Systems, Hidden Cameras, and access control systems and surveillance equipment for your home, business, apartment building, condominium, warehouse or office.

Contact our miami security guard agency today and obtain a security assessment and a quote from the leading security company in Miami. A friendly licensed security service consultant will assist you with any information you may need regarding security guard services, shopping center security guards, shopping center security services and patrol services in miami and Florida..

Cities & counties we provide Security Guard Services, shopping mall security, parking lot security, retail security, retail store security, loss prevention services, undercover store security, mobile patrol services, temporary security, security guard officers, convenience store security are;  Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Aventura , Bal Harbour , Bal Harbor, Boca Raton , Boynton Beach , Coconut Creek , Coconut Grove , Cooper city , Coral Gables , Coral Springs , Cutler Bay, Cutler Ridge , Dania, Davie , Deerfield Beach , Doral, Fort Lauderdale , Ft. Myers , Fort Pierce , Hallandale Beach , Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Hollywood Florida, Homestead , Islamorada , Kendall , Key Biscayne , Key Largo , Key West , Lake Worth , Lauderdale-by-the-Sea , Lauderhill , LeHigh Acres, Marathon key, Margate , Medley, Miami Beach , Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes , Miami Springs , Miramar , Naranja , North Bay Village , North Miami Beach , North Palm Beach , Opa Locka , South Florida , West Palm Beach , Pembroke Pines , Perrine , Pinecrest, Port Saint Lucie, South Miami , Miami Design District, Wynwood, Hialeah Gardens , South Beach , Sunny Isles Beach , Sunrise , Surfside , Broward Fl Tamarac , West Palm Beach , Weston , Wilton Manors, Tamarac, Tallahassee, Florida City and Miami Security Services.

Call our miami security guard company for details on our security guard services , body guard or private detective services.

(800)743-2313   or   (305)264-787

Miami Protection
7878 West Flagler Street Miami, Florida 33144 Toll Free: 1 (800) 743-2314 Direct #: (305) 264-7878 Fax: (305) 822-7238 E-Mail: [email protected]