Saturday August 11, 2012
Malls get timely boost
By REGINA LEE
PETALING JAYA: The bust by 1Utama shopping centre's security guards in foiling suspected robbers has been seen as a morale boost to the shopping mall industry.
Plagued by a string of robbery and assault incidents in malls, the managements have been fighting to boost security and regain shoppers' trust.
“Security in any business has to be top priority because the business will be the biggest beneficiary or loser, depending on how secure they are,” Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management president H.C. Chan said.
Commending the 1Utama mall management over its security guards' vigilance, he said more needed to be done.
“We are glad the suspects were caught but we still have to be on constant alert,” he said, adding that several malls were having their guards trained by the police.
In the Wednesday night drama, security guards spotted four men in a car behaving suspiciously. When approached, the four tried to escape but their car crashed into a divider. They were then apprehended.
Two parang were found in the stolen car while a police source said the suspects were lurking to rob shoppers.
Just two months ago, a woman was robbed in the outdoor car park near the mall while one of the shopping mall tenants was assaulted in a robbery attempt in the basement car park last month.
Meanwhile, the 1Utama management said it had improved its security measures over the past few months. It has deployed more armed security guards to patrol the car park and added two more dogs to their canine unit.
“But our measures don't end here. We are mulling more training for the guards,” said the mall's security and safety operations manager Santa Singh.
Internet users applauded the guards on the mall's Facebook page for being vigilant.
“You have found a team of good guards. Take good care of them as it is not easy to find good guards,” wrote Matthew Kee.
“Feel more assured now to go to 1U. Never fancied 1U before though I could practically walk there from my house, but thanks to their level of commitment, improvements and efforts, I'm more than happy to spend money there!” wrote Karen Priscilla Pereira.