Retail security comes in all different shapes and sizes
And whilst a guard-presence is a deterrence, it is not enough to protect your business
It is understood industry-wide that physical security measures for retail premises will never be 100% successful and should not be approached as a fail-safe solution. A thorough assessment of a retail premises’ security will highlight the vulnerabilities of the location but without a doubt, the most effective strategy is a consistency throughout all areas of the security matrix; people, procedures, technology and physical.
Theft and vandalism is an ongoing concern for convenience stores and smaller retailers, whether the crime is opportunist snatch and grab theft or premeditated Organised Retail Theft (ORT), obvious physical security measures act as a deterrence as much as they do protect the valuable stock.
Retailers and shopping centres that stock products of significant value or have high volumes of footfall, will require higher-standard loss prevention products to mitigate determined criminals and ORT, and procedures in place concerning crowd control in mass panic situations. For physical security solutions, incorporating products into the properties shell and interior will not only deter the opportunist criminal but also defend against the more sophisticated tools categories, as so categorised by the national police crime prevention Secured By Design (SBD) initiative and tested Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), such as the SR3 rated 12 volt disc grinder. Specified physical security systems are often a requirement of the risk management teams, and necessary in validating comprehensive property insurance policies.
Only once the threat to a retailer can be categorised, mitigation strategies can be identified. Charter Global provide an extensive range of products applicable to all applications. For further information about Security Standards and how they may apply to your project, please contact a member of our experienced team.
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Retail properties will encounter different risks dependent on the type of commerce and the value of stock stored on the premises. Stock is valued differently by the general consumer but to a criminal there is equal value in all goods. Whilst high value products such as luxury handbags and premium technology may have greater monetary value compared to low value products such as tobacco, there is equal risk.
Reinforcing the properties physical shell by specification is therefore a powerful preventative against all form of attack, and an effective tool to reduce potential damage should an attack occur.
For retail outlets in urban areas, safeguarding with a single measure of defence (such as a single CCTV camera) may not be enough to deter even the opportunist intruder. Layering defensive measures around the perimeter, incorporated into the property shell and within the interior will reduce the damage caused should an incident occur.
Industrial properties and distributions centres encounter multi-facet threats. From disgruntled warehouse employees looking to supplement their income, to delivery servicemen considering the fringe benefit, to repetitive mechanical attacks from criminal organizations. In these instances, a security assessment of both external and internal risks is important for specifying which performance standards required to be complaint.
Security assessments highlight exploitable gaps in security procedures and policies, identifying which building elements require further reinforcements and to which performance standard.
Common challenges when securing retail premises
Physical security also provides value elsewhere; ensuring all relevant risks to the property have been assessed and measures are incorporated into the building at performance standard, property insurance premiums are very likely to reduce. The risk to trading is also significant. Brand and reputation have as much value in today’s market to quality, so the cost to repair is often greater than the value of the goods stolen.
There are several elements to bear in mind when securing a retail property. For high-end retailers, window design and competitive window dressing arrangements has a massive bearing on seasonal success, with proof shown in the crowds drawn in to see the unveiling of the Harrods’ Christmas displays every year.
From the point of view of an independent security consultant on a contract to raise the standard of a series of designer brand outlets, the visibility element specified for these projects poses a risk and yet a compromise still must be found. Noticeable deterrents such as the likes of CCTV and executive security personnel will likely ward off the opportunists, but the determined attacker will be prepared for basic security precautions. Solutions such as an Obexion UD SR3 with Perforated Laths security shutter, shatter-proof glazing and reinforced vision panels on Obexion SR3 Doors all provide some visibility without conceding on the standard of security.
For shopping malls that span multiple storeys and host a range of outlets including point-of-sales, the most significant risks are those the most difficult to profile. With multiple points of access across a single site, the detection and delay of incidents is the top priority. One development within the technology industry that is particularly useful to the detecting threats to large public sites and public spaces is face recognition technology.
Detecting the threat is only half the battle.
Whilst no one solution will provide totally secure a site, the technology integrated within the centres must be supported by physical security measures that are fast-acting and can deployed immediately. Critical areas include public domain, secure staffing zones, delivery and loading bays and security personnel zones including server rooms.