Four questions for Pareto

March 2016 Retail (Industry)

Pareto is a South African shopping centre investor and one of the country’s leading retail property industry players. Due to the company’s interest in the retail space, Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Gerhard van den Bergh, national operations and facilities manager at Pareto, four questions related to the security issues he sees on a daily basis.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What are the primary security issues retailers and shopping centres face today?

Van Den Bergh: There are many, but we’re mainly seeing mall robberies, vehicle theft and theft from shops in the malls on a daily basis.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Does the industry work together to try to collectively overcome or find solutions?

Van Den Bergh: The industry works together by meeting regularly with key players in the market to fight crime. I believe there is an effort from the police, but I am not sure whether the police have sufficient manpower to cater for the retailers’ needs.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Do retailers in general pay enough attention to security, or is it an afterthought? Are risk assessments done properly or is it a job that is simply handed over to the security service provider?

Van Den Bergh: In my opinion retailers do a lot to combat crime, but are dependent on the response and reaction from the police services or their appointed security companies. I am not aware of risk assessment and can therefore not comment on it. In our case, the operations manager in the mall is responsible to ensure that the security jobs are done properly.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What assistance would you like to see from security vendors?

Van Den Bergh: Security officers must be properly trained and graded. Security officers must take their job seriously and must be appointed in a position because they want to be there. We should no longer accept it when security companies recruit staff from the street just to fill required vacant positions.

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