High-rise tower, retail, and commercial property security are critical to maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for tenants and visitors. However, it comes with its own set of challenges that need to be addressed effectively. In this article, we will explore the most common security challenges in downtown and urban environments and discuss the “Paladin Approach,” a friendly and effective strategy employed by Paladin Security to tackle these issues.
A common challenge faced by commercial and retail properties is panhandling. Panhandlers position themselves in high-traffic areas and actively solicit visitors for money, sometimes becoming aggressive when their demands are not met or when approached by security.
To address this issue, the Paladin Approach focuses on establishing polite, respectful, and friendly contact with panhandlers. Security personnel verbally notify panhandlers of the rules of the property and offer information about social aid resources when appropriate. By treating people with respect, empathy, and building rapport, Security Officers can guide them toward the support they need.
During colder and wetter seasons, people without shelter will seek shelter in parkades and stairwells, creating safety and access concerns for properties, as well as potential property damage if fires are started for warmth. This challenge is compounded by the fact that some people without shelter may carry weapons for self-defence.
To mitigate this issue, Paladin recommends installing Guard Tour points to establish frequent patrols and notifying other security personnel or the operations centre of their whereabouts before approaching. The Paladin Approach involves empathy along with polite and respectful contact, verbal notification of property rules, and escorting people off the property. Shelter is a pillar of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; as such, information on social aid and nearby shelters is provided to those in need.
3. Park & Ride / Commuters
Properties located near transit or pedestrian hubs often face challenges with commuters parking on their property and using nearby alternative transportation, violating parking regulations, and limiting spaces for actual customers of the property. The Paladin Approach recommends ensuring proper signage, restricting access to parking when practical, and considering parking management solutions, such as partnering with Concord Parking for preferred rates and efficient parking management.
4. Youth Challenges
Youth-related challenges can vary based on the proximity of schools, retailer mix, and access to public transit. These challenges may include theft, fights, graffiti, and loitering. Paladin adopts a proactive approach to address youth issues, initiating friendly and respectful early contact, intervening before situations escalate, documenting incidents and repeat offenders, and maintaining communication with local police and schools. Paladin also focuses on impact mitigation for commonly used weapons, such as pepper spray, to ensure the safety of all building occupants.
Download our free whitepapers to help you with these challenges:
- Crime Prevention Through Customer Service
- Youth Engagement at Commercial Properties
- Incident Debrief Guide
5. Food Courts
Food courts present various security challenges, including first aid calls, panhandling, and individuals taking food scraps or going through garbage for food or recyclables. The Paladin Approach suggests installing Guard Tour points to establish a frequent security presence, incorporating regular patrols, and proactive CCTV monitoring. Additionally, encouraging food court attendants to report unwanted behaviour to security and providing information on social aid resources help maintain a secure and comfortable environment.
6. Theft from Auto
Theft from vehicles is often a crime of opportunity; valuables left visible in parked cars attract criminals. To combat this challenge, the Paladin Approach suggests implementing auto crime awareness signage, ensuring adequate lighting for deterrence and optimal CCTV coverage, increasing strategic patrols, coordinating with local police and community volunteers, and installing Guard Tour points to establish a frequent security presence. The "See something, say something" campaign encourages prompt reporting of suspicious activity by staff, tenants, and customers.
7. Drug Use and Mental Health
Properties may face issues related to mental health, drug use, and overdose. The Paladin Approach compiles a compassionate and empathy-led approach for a better outcome, as well as first aid training, overdose recognition, and fostering communication and cooperation with local law enforcement. Paladin Security professionals are trained to respond appropriately, either by administering Naloxone, or contacting emergency/social services as necessary.
By addressing these common retail security challenges using the Paladin Approach, retailers and property managers create a safer, friendlier, and more secure environment for their customers, employees, and the community at large. Through proactive measures, an empathy-led approach, effective communication, and respectful engagement, Paladin Security aims to mitigate security risks and ensure a positive experience for everyone.