Mobile Charging Hazards in Retail Places.
Across the retail industry, improving the customer experience has become an essential ingredient to customer satisfaction.
Coupled with our reliance on mobile technology and its increased use to both ‘stay in touch’ and as a marketing platform, it should come as no surprise that there has been a rapid growth in the provision of mobile phone charging facilities within the retail industry.
Free-to-use and secure, phone chargers are being installed across a wide range of retail destinations, having been shown to improve dwell time within retail places.
However, there are historical anecdotal stories of ‘charge boxes’ being misused for drug transactions or worse, there have been concerns that they could be used by terrorist to secrete devices.
So what’s the risk? The advice from NaCTSO with regard to protective security is that the best way to manage ‘hazards and risks’ are to start by understanding and identifying the threats and vulnerabilities.
For some retail places, simple good practice coupled with vigilance and well exercised contingency arrangements may be all that is needed.
If, however, you assess that you are vulnerable to attack, you should apply appropriate protective security measures to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable. Physical security is important in protecting against a range of threats and addressing vulnerability.
Your risk assessment will determine which measures you should adopt, but they range from basic good housekeeping (keeping communal areas clean and tidy) through to CCTV and lighting.
In practical terms, this means that consideration should be given to the location of the charge boxes, ensuring that are well lit so they can be easily monitored by CCTV.
They should also be regularly inspected as part of your security/cleaning patrolling regime to deter misuse - this monitoring also enhances customer reassurance.
Lastly the removal of this facility should form part of contingency planning in the event of an increase in threat.
Graham Williams, Portfolio Security Manager, Hammerson