Crime drama television shows often feature attack scenes in parking lots and parking garages. The tough guys shoot the snitch in his car. The mystery person kidnaps the heiress. As much as these incidences may seem out of the ordinary to many of us, crime does happen in America’s parking facilities
The FBI notes that parking lots and garages are the third most common location of violent crimes nationwide. According to FBI data from Crime Data Explorer, in 2020 some 45,107 violent crimes (homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) occurred in a parking garage or lot. Some less-aggressive vandals simply access parking structures to key or spray paint cars and slash tires.
Businesses with parking facilities struggle with how to keep their customers and staff safe entering and leaving their parked vehicles. Most parking areas are open to the public and a thug’s vehicle typically fits in with the parked vehicles around it. In addition, parking structure stairwells and elevator cabs are small, enclosed spaces that are favorite attack points for individuals with criminal intent.
Security Tips for Your Business
We at Signal 88 are committed to keeping your people and property secure and free from crime of any magnitude. We offer the following security tips to help ensure your parking facilities are up-to-date, clean and safe.
Lighting Parking structures and lots can attract people with criminal intent. Parked cars create hiding spaces and can block the distribution of light. High walls and structural columns promote poor sight lines that invite criminal activity. Keeping your parking spaces well-lit helps deter criminals and makes it easier to identify potential perpetrators who should not be on your property.
Action: It is imperative to complete routine checks for unlit areas and resolve the lighting problems immediately.
Signage Posting clear signs to direct visitors helps them know exactly where they are and how to access a building or an exit. People who wander around lost in a parking facility are a prime target for crime.
Action: You may want to direct your visitors to go directly to their car, lock the doors, start the car and leave. Or, posting a reminder to not leave valuables in plain sight in the car can also help curtail vehicle break-ins.
Maintenance Criminals are less likely to act if they see that your parking areas are well-maintained. Caring about the appearance and safety of your business property lets criminals know that you are on watch. Stay proactive with picking up litter, mowing, clearing out weeds and removing any graffiti markings. Also ensure that parking lines are clear and not faded.
Action: Stay a step ahead on maintenance and consider outsourcing the work if necessary. Scheduling routine maintenance work in advance will communicate that your company means business about preventing crime.
Stay Proactive Not Reactive
Security In-person security patrols throughout the day and night are one of the most effective deterrents to crime in parking facilities. Signal 88 dedicated officers and mobile patrols provide cost-effective security that prevents crime and instills peace of mind to your customers, visitors and employees.
The National Institute of Justice finds that, “The visible presence of uniformed officers is one of the best crime prevention methods and should be considered in high-risk facilities.”
At Signal 88 we stay proactive rather than reactive after an incident occurs. We assess your property for lighting and potential crime hot spots and allow you to customize services that best address your security concerns. As a leader in the security industry, our presence with trained officers, mobile patrols, advanced technology and real-time communication are a proven deterrent to any possible theft, vandalism or even more aggressive crimes on your property.
Action: Employ a private security contractor for in-person patrols throughout the day or night. Consider installing video surveillance and emergency call stations.