The holiday shopping season has officially started and across the country retailers have primed the pump with extra merchandise, sale prices and extended hours. Evaluating and upgrading a mall’s physical security has also become an annual event in preparation for the increased sales activity. For many retail locations, an effective way to improve risk management is the systematic assessment of guard activities including tours and verification of rounds. This approach can be efficiently achieved through hardware and software technology such as automated guard tour systems.
Guard tour systems are designed to automate the reporting procedures and to offer ease of use and efficiency for guards. While on rounds, security officers use hand-held data recorders to check into stations strategically located throughout the facility. The date, time and location of the check-in is recorded on the hand-held device; if a station check-in is missed, that information will be flagged in the report. The rugged, hand-held data recorders also allow security personnel to input incident codes while on tour, using the built-in keypad and display.
Effectively, automated and interactive guard tour systems can help ensure that officers are making the rounds and provide back-up documentation. During the frenzied holiday shopping period these procedures are more important than ever and can help curtail incidents of vandalism, theft and other criminal activity. Guard tour systems also ensure consistency and adherence to established security procedures by part-time or seasonal security staff.
By enhancing their capability to observe and record with state of the art guard tour systems, security guards are better equipped to provide an effective and useful component of a shopping center’s physical security program. The extended functionality of the system including detailed activity and incident reports provide important documentation to protect against potential liability.
At this or any time of year, guard tour systems address safety and crime prevention needs in a mall environment for the benefit of shoppers, retailers and mall employees.