Security for retail. The importance of protecting shoppers.

INTRODUCTION

With the increased terror threat, security has never been more critical to property management, particularly in the context of shopping centres where footfall is high and access is unrestricted. At Emprise we provide security solutions to a number of retail centres throughout the UK. In this article we discuss key areas of concern and provide advice for reducing risk.

AN EASY TARGET FOR TERROR.

Shopping centres and arcades often experience high footfall, but lack appropriate levels of security personnel on the ground. As a result, they are likely targets for terrorist attacks, so it’s important to plan ahead and counter the threat.

Investing in regular staff training will ensure that you have the necessary controls in place and help you to identify and respond to suspicious behavior as quickly as possible.

At Emprise, together with the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, we offer free Project Griffin training for security operatives on how to best address this type of activity.

ASSESSING THE RISK

As the old saying goes, the best defence is a good offence. It’s important to identify critical assets, potential threats, vulnerabilities and appropriate controls to reduce the risk to people, information and infrastructure as much as possible.

This process should cover all relevant statutory obligations and protections, including the Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act, the Official Secrets Act, Equality Act and the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

At Emprise we provide comprehensive risk assessments as part of our outsourced security services.

PREPARING FOR THE WORST

Of course, the aim should always be to prevent an incident from taking place, but if and when the unthinkable happens, you need to be ready to act.

All plans should be regularly rehearsed and tested to ensure that they are effective and that key members of staff are familiar with their roles.

At Emprise, if an incident occurs, we aim to get our client back to business as usual as soon as possible. It’s about developing a robust plan to minimise disruption to your operations.

INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY

Individuals who own or run retail outlets are at risk of criminal prosecution in the wake of a terrorist incident, particularly if it’s discovered that the relevant risk management processes have not been followed.

These include risk assessments, coordinating response plans between stakeholders, establishing appropriate procedures and providing staff training.

By working with a reputable security service provider like ourselves, that responsibility is shared – we train all staff and run regular assessments to ensure complete compliance.

COUNTING THE COST

In our experience, security costs are typically the highest cost category in the service charge. This is due to the fact that security is heavily reliant on a manned presence.

Property owners and managers should consider instructing specialist security providers, like Emprise, to undertake holistic security risk assessments and to advise on proportionate countermeasures.

Our experienced management teams not only help our clients to safeguard their businesses, they also help to streamline costs by continually assessing requirements and adjusting operations.

This means that as your security requirements change, your workforce changes too, so you’ll always have the right level of support.

INTEGRATING SERVICES

We believe security operations are most effective when supported by all members
of staff working on the premises.

At Emprise, for the majority of our security customers in the retail sector, we also provide cleaning services.
This dual delivery dovetails to enhance the efficiency and overall effectiveness of both operations.

For example, if a security operative finds a spillage, they can quickly inform our cleaning team
via a handheld patrol system. Vice versa, if a cleaning operative spots something suspicious,
they can also quickly inform security.

Our patrol system also automatically alerts facility managers and crucially,
can provide a real time audit trail of any events.

PROTECTING REPUTATION

A major incident has the potential to impact every aspect of your business – starting with the reputation of your brand, ultimately trickling through to your profitability.

At Emprise, our services cover everything from CCTV to workforce management, mailroom supervision to alarm response, so by working with us you can guarantee a state-of-the-art service across the board.

For more information about our security services

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