When the dust settled on Westgate, a number of questions arose, including whether the attack could have been averted, and whether our security agents responded in the expected manner. For property experts, however, the biggest question has been whether the security measures in place at the mall, and in many other such centres in the country, were adequate.
However if you leave a bag lying idle at the Two Rivers Mall it will take less than 10 minutes for the mall’s security surveillance team to flag it as a potential threat.
The Centum Investments owned high end mall on Limuru Road in Nairobi has invested Ksh1 billion to shore up security at the mall, the development’s management says it is not taking any chances after learning from the Westgate Mall Siege that left 71 people including four attackers dead in 2013.
Speaking during an interview on KTN News on November 7, Ms. Itumu Zaloumis Kalunda, the first “Mayor” and Managing Director of Two Rivers Mall said that there are over 300 security cameras installed at the establishment as well as a security operations centre where all activities going on at every corner of the mall are monitored in real time.
“This is one of the key things that we considered. What we have done is that we have borrowed from the best global practices because we understand that the security of shoppers is one of the most important things in Nairobi, said Ms. Kalunda.
The terrorist attack on Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi shook not just Kenyans, but the international community as well.
A shopping mall is one of the most crowded hubs where people in large numbers visit on a daily basis for various reasons. Shopping malls have various stores, food court, large parking areas, restrooms, movie theaters, etc. that could be exposed to several criminal activities like theft and vandalism without proper security systems and guards. It is important to ensure the safety of the valuables in the mall stores as well as the workers and daily visitors. There are many different types of security systems that can provide security to the regular flow of inventory, money, and people.
It is important to monitor and record the activities happening in all the parts of the shopping mall to avoid any criminal activity, mishap, or medical emergency. Different close circuited (CCTV), bullet, and dome shaped cameras are available in the market with a wide variety to choose from. These cameras cover various angles and are connected to a monitor room. This monitor room contains screens where the monitoring staff can keep an eye on the overall happenings. This can help monitor potential criminal activities and identify the criminals.
The security guards at different places of the shopping mall not only provide security but also keep an eye on any kind of suspicious activities. There are essentially two types of security guards – static, who are the traditional security guards, and the mobile patrolling security guards, who keep patrolling in the different shady parts of the mall. The static ones stay within a limited area of the mall and focus on maintaining order in their area. They provide help to the visitors and restrict unwanted entry if necessary. The mobile patrolling security guards, on the other hand, move around the shopping mall premise in vehicles that are equipped with GPS tracking and rush to the mall in case of emergencies. These security guards are trained and well-equipped.
Fire and Healthcare Safety
A shopping mall is a public place that is always at the risk of catching fire. A fire outbreak can result in an enormous amount of loss to the goods and lives. A fire safety system with adequate fire extinguishers and fire watch security guards is necessary for maintaining safety and security in shopping malls. Also, it is important to have first aid CPR security guards in the mall premise to handle medical emergencies.