CPTED Shopping Malls

    A CPTED shopping mall design should be laid out to maximize a feeling of comfort and not a fortress of security hardware. Out are the old enclosed "box style" covered malls. In are the well laid out multiple building shopping centers which promote outdoor activity such as eating and walking. This is an important design feature of CPTED shopping malls, as it enhances natural surveillance through activity support.
    A CPTED shopping mall should include many other features as well. On the exterior, you should pay special attention to the parking lot or structure. Utilize an open parking lot whenever possible. Lighting will be a big asset in a CPTED shopping mall. There are specific minimum standards for lighting which are important to achieve and maintain. Enclosed parking structures at CPTED shopping malls should be of an "open design" with walls painted white. Avoid solid wall partitions which could create dark areas where potential attackers could lurk. Utilize pillars and open perimeter walls to maximize natural light. Use an "open" staircase design. Clearly mark public entrances with landscape, architecture and signage. Every part of the mall should be designed for maximum comfort, ease, and above all-- safety of the customers. Whether customers have come for a shopping spree, a food court snack, a movie or to visit a professional such as Aviva (http://www.aviva.co.uk/life-insurance/) or an HMV store, they should be able to do so in comfort and security. When done properly, such security designs can go hand-in-hand with aesthetic elegance.
    Other considerations will be the design of fencing and landscaping to enhance natural surveillance and control access to the perimeter of the shopping mall. Utilize these CPTED principles to direct the flow of people at the CPTED shopping mall. CPTED can reduce or prevent graffiti on the shopping mall buildings or structure through vegetation or murals. In choosing vegetation to work concurrently with lighting, you will be able to reduce the fear and incidence of crime at the shopping mall. Furthermore, avoid designs in plans that have small alcoves, crawl spaces, dark corners, or areas that might provide hiding spots. Once again, lighting will be your biggest asset to reducing crime in these locations. In addition, the floor plan of the walking areas and entryways to the CPTED shopping mall should be designed to provide good natural surveillance. Utilize wide walkways and create open spaces and place information kiosks throughout. Position restroom entrances to be visible from main pedestrian areas, but not close to parking lots or payphones where people could lurk. You want them to be visible to passersby.
    The interior layout of each individual business of the shopping mall should incorporate the CPTED principle of natural surveillance. For example signage for windows should be placed so that they do not obscure the view into or out of the business. The customer service counter should be placed for maximum visibility of the store. A good rule to follow for loss prevention of merchandise is to place the service counter close to the entrance of the business. This will deter the "snatch and grab" type robbers better than a video surveillance system. Clothes racks and display counters should be arranged in such a way where they do not hamper observation by employees, or provide hiding spots. In addition, counters, displays or clothes racks should be set up to direct the flow of people and control natural access.
    Security systems (video and alarms) should be used in conjunction with CPTED wherever possible. Authorized control points such as doors should be alarmed and monitored by digital surveillance cameras. Cover interior areas with motion detecting alarm sensors. You should give extra emphasis to loading dock areas, as they are considered high risk, due to their high flow of vehicle and foot traffic with merchandise moving throughout. Check points, security alarms and digital video surveillance may all be necessary to provide the level of security needed to protect these vulnerable areas. Shopping malls should incorporate CPTED security designs for refuse disposal as well. Refuse container structures at shopping malls should be placed in an open well lit area, and kept locked to prevent unauthorized dumping.
    Contact us for an in-depth CPTED consultation of your planned shopping mall, or to discuss things you can to do to enhance CPTED at existing shopping malls.

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