Sex, Crime, Video Tape
& Parking Structures
From a Press Release
by Kenneth Carlisle, CPP Security Professional
Phone: (415) 392-1810
San Francisco, CA.
Recent violence in parking structures in Los Angeles and the Bay Area seem to baffle the populace. Nevertheless, parking facilities are prime hunting grounds for lovers, criminals, and other strangers. Parking areas are target rich environments for criminals. Car-jacking, necking, mugging, vandalism, indecent exposure, rape, break-ins, car theft, stolen car drop off, hit and run, robbery, and homicide, are common and frequent events. One half of all reported burglary is vehicle related. Although closed circuit television cameras may abound, very little is seen or recorded on useful videotape. Even after catching suspects on tape, authorities have difficulty identifying perpetrators and solving criminal cases. The truth is that these crimes and incidents are predictable and in many cases preventable!
Parking areas provide a focal point of potential victims carrying valuables, such as wallets or jewelry. By their composition, parking structures offer potentially high value target victims. Luxury, late model or vintage early model cars are in abundance. Reports show that automobiles are frequent targets of theft. Accessories such as specialized hubcaps or wheel covers and hood ornaments, and equipment such as stereo radios, tape decks, cellular telephones, CB transceivers, and antennae are regularly stolen from parked vehicles. Lovers and other strangers are often oblivious to approaching danger or their vulnerability. Sexual or other assaults generally involving females as the victims have a very serious affect, not only on the victim, but also on public opinion and customer relations. The effect is serious and is intensified when a large population of females drives alone, especially those working late at night. They are frequently the only users of the parking areas during the evening hours.
Many parking areas used by the general public are poorly protected and unsafe. Parking areas are one of the most difficult and complicated facilities to secure. Closed circuit television and videotape are not enough. Not only do builders, owners, and managers have a responsibility for adequate security; users must also recognize the inherent dangers and take appropriate prudent self-protection measures:
- Whenever possible, females should not enter parking areas alone. Ask a parking attendant to accompany you to your vehicle.
- Have your keys in hand, and ready to unlock car doors.
- Park in a well-lit area of the parking lot, near a staffed tollbooth, or other busy areas. Always lock your car and store valuables in the trunk or out of sight.
- View the parking area before entering. Stay away from any suspicious looking persons, unsafe areas, secluded or areas hidden from sight.
- Know where you are going and take the most direct, safest route.
- Do not overburden yourself. Ask an attendant to help you carry large or numerous packages.
Parking lot owners or managers may find security and safety solutions through a systematic problem solving process: define risks and threats, determine security and safety objectives, determine alternatives and costs, and select an appropriate course of action.
Kenneth Carlisle is the principal consultant with SecurityNet Security Consultants. He has extensive experience in developing procedures and training for reducing workplace violence and can be contacted at [email protected] or (415)392-1810 for further information on this subject.
SecurityNet, established in 1987, specializes in security assessments and the design, engineering and development of professional security programs. The firm has designed systems for major high-rise office buildings, apartment & condo communities, and mixed-use developments. Also corporate headquarters, corporate campus complexes, hospitals, transportation industries, manufacturing companies, and large recreational facilities.