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Shopping Centre Security

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 17.41.31Recall Security Services have security officers in many premises across the country. We also have Tipperary, Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Gorey, Kilkenny, Carlow and Tralee.

Retail security officers are employed in retail outlets primarily for loss prevention. The position demands an understanding of the aims and problems of loss control and the ability to select and implement the correct security procedure that will be effective in the business environment. It also requires that the security officer understands the requirements of the client and the contract security company.

As already stated, the primary function for which all retail security officers and store detectives are employed is “loss prevention”. This includes all security, fire and safety issues that could have an adverse effect on the operation of the client’s business. The secondary function is that of customer/client service and relations.

A checklist of the more precise duties may include:

  • Supervising cleaning staff on premises prior to opening
  • Supervising the entry of staff onto the premises
  • Supervising the egress of cleaning staff
  • Searching of staff as per assignment instructions (where a search policy exists)
  • Checking the store before opening to the public to ensure staff/public safety
  • Opening the store to the public
  • Observing the public entering and exiting
  • Observing members of the public in the store where their actions warrant such observations
  • Dealing with incidents of suspected shoplifting (theft)
  • Liaising with management, other stores, other security personnel and Gardaí
  • Searching in the event of bomb threats
  • Assisting with evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency
  • Recording and reporting any risks or potential risks in respect of health and safety
  • Checking the store prior to locking up premises

The overall motto is to observe and report all issues where they could effect the security or safety of the store, staff or public and take action where possible to prevent and detect such issues.

General requirements

The retail security officer should be:

  • Familiar with the layout and stock carried by the store
  • Vigilant at all times
  • Familiar with assignment instructions
  • Friendly and helpful to customers
  • Professional at all times in demeanour and actions
  • Observant

Shopping Centre Risks

The security officer is the person who is most in contact with the members of the public while they are entering/leaving or while within the shopping centre.

The main possibilities of exposure are through:

  • The misuse of radio equipment i.e. refers to members of the public in derogatory terms over the radio network when others are within earshot.
  • Wrongful arrest, where security staff arrest members of the public which for a number of reasons later proves to be wrong, e.g. no stolen goods found on the suspect when searched by Gardaí.
  • Denying a person entry to a premises or ejecting a person from a premises without good cause.
  • Commenting on or discussing a person’s background or origins (discrimination etc.) with others.
  • Abusing or misusing a staff “right to search” clause. The above actions may lead to claims against the security officer and the security company alleging assault or defamation, etc by the security officer involved.

These risks may be increased by:

  • Employing security staff or companies who do not have sufficient insurance cover.
  • Employing poor quality or badly trained security staff or companies whose actions may lead to claims.
  • Failing to take adequate or reasonable care to ensure the safety of the public and staff while they are on the premises.
  • Failure to train security staff to deal with situations or incidents.

Store Detective

The store detective operates on a different type of instruction and would generally be classed as a covert operator. The store detective is more common in larger outlets and where the threat is from the more professional or experienced shoplifter. The store detective has many of the duties of the retail security officer, however a critical part of their job is to target and apprehend shoplifters. This is a very effective deterrent in itself as it leads to the arrest of shoplifters. The store detective is also used in areas where normal patrolling has not worked, this may be due to the size or complexity of the premises or a particular problem with high levels of theft.

The detective also has a role in areas of staff theft and staff collusion with others, as the presence of store detectives on the shop floor is known only to the most senior management.

The store detective can be male or female, young or old and the main requirement is that they are able to blend into the surroundings of the store by being appropriately dressed and by the use of suitable body language.

The store detective has many of the duties of the retail security officer. An example of one of the main additional duties is to carry out covert surveillance of both customers and staff. This will include directing the operation at ground floor level to ensure that the control room can deploy the C.C.T.V. system to its optimum level, this will ensure that the suspect will not realize that they are under observation until it is time to make an arrest.

This type of duty requires observation skills at the highest level to ensure that only suspects are challenged, reducing the risk of claims of false arrest from innocent parties.