In Security Solutions for Strip Shopping Centers, author and security expert witness Karim H. Vellani discusses risks and solutions for strip shopping center security:
Strip shopping centers face unique threats not common to other properties. Often considered a safe haven by customers, strip centers contain various types of businesses and stores that create high traffic levels of both vehicles and pedestrians. Shopping centers often contain an anchor store which draws the bulk of the traffic, such as grocery stores and department stores. Grocery stores, in particular, face numerous crime challenges as they meet many customer needs beyond groceries.
The two biggest threats to shopping centers are victimization of employees and customers and the liability associated with such events. The inherent nature of the facility lends itself to high traffic, because diverse businesses are located within the center. This high traffic creates an abundance of targets for criminals. Other factors that can contribute to higher traffic and higher risks are external payphones, banks and automated teller machines (ATM), and the location of the center at major cross streets or near highways. These factors along with other considerations are typically what the real estate department is looking for when selecting and planning new shopping centers as the factors also contribute to marketability. Thus, a fine line exists between marketability and security.