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It’s hard to imagine accessing an office or retail centre that does not have a parking lot. These facilities offer a great service – however, many have limited security, poor lighting, and are ill-designed with many blind spots.

Moreover, many parking lots have poorly maintained shrubbery that provide cover for potential criminal activity, or leave unattended vehicles exposed and vulnerable to theft. The major problem for parking lots, especially the large ones, is keeping cars and people visible.

With little foot traffic and limited attendants, it’s crucial to install video camera surveillance systems to improve visibility and deter crime.

Some of the most common security threats for parking lots include:

  1. Theft from cars
    This includes theft of valuables left in the car, theft of external components – such as side mirrors and wheels – and theft of interior parts, such as batteries and radios. Theft from cars constitutes about 85 per cent of automobile-related thefts. A thief only requires a little alone time, zero witnesses and a good escape route to steal a laptop or stereo, for example.
  2. Theft of cars
    Parking lots are a target for car theft with a wide selection of vehicles often left unattended. Cars can be stolen for prolonged use, joyriding or dis-assembly.
  3. Violent crimes
    Violent crimes committed in parking lots include strong-arm robberies and carjackings, for example. These crimes are not unusual – especially if you consider that everyone in a parking lot is often a stranger. A violent criminal can easily blend in with other people without raising any alarm.

The solution

Parking lot thieves and criminals are usually opportunists looking for the easiest target – away from witnesses or security guards. These criminals will target parking lots with no video camera surveillance.

Putting up hedges or fencing around the parking lot perimeter can deter potential criminals from accessing the facility on foot, but this can lead to an increase in costs – especially since regular maintenance is necessary. Moreover, retail parking lots need to be easily accessible – so open parking is preferred in order to allow access for pedestrians. While installing traffic gates and fencing can control foot traffic, it can also raise more issues.

The more practical solution is to ensure a secure perimeter with a video surveillance system. Improving your parking lot security will attract patrons who want to shop safely. This translates to increased profits and a great return on investment.