Shopping malls: Easy prey for criminals?


One of our readers Rajeev, has sent an interesting reference on safety in shopping malls. Although, we are relatively new to mall culture, we would soon be witnessing such problems in India. In coming days, we will follow up this article with tips on how to keep the malls safe? –‘Thanks, Rajeev.

Malls seem like tightly-controlled and safe spaces for shopping, entertainment and dining. Yet they actually present great problems for those who are in charge of the safety and security of the retailers and customers.

Shopping malls have lots of features that make them attractive to criminals. There are plenty of nice things in the stores, and people walking around with money. There are usually places for groups of teenagers to hang out. There are also parking lots full of cars. Security and safety in malls depends on proper management of the crowd, its movement around the mall, its transportation to and away from the mall, and the way it spends its time in the mall.

It would be fairly easy to keep malls safe if there was a way to tell who is coming to the mall to make trouble, and to keep those people out. However, this is quite difficult. So security in malls depends on successful separation between shoppers or potential shoppers, and non-shoppers who are around for crime, shoplifting, pickpocket, or just hanging around. Certain design qualities of malls can encourage or discourage the non-shoppers, such as lighting, ceiling height, color scheme, presence of public transportation, parking facilities and many others.

Source: School of Criminal Justice,

Rutgers University, Newark, NJ.

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