Mall owners urged to invest on security measures

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


MALL owners should invest on their security measures and protocols to ensure the safety of the mall goers, a police official said Wednesday.

In a media briefing, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Carmelo Valmoria said time and again they were sending recommendations to the mall owners on how to enhance their security for the sake of the mall goers but the "last say still depends on the mall management and their security agencies."

"Continuous naman ang dialogue natin with the mall owners kung paano makakapagtulungan para sa security ng mga mall goers not only pag may mga ganitong insidente, but we can only recommend. Kung ayaw nilang sumunod wala tayong magagawa," he said.

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Valmoria was referring to the series of robbery incidents inside the malls which compromised the safety of its customers, the mall goers.

On January 26, 2013, alleged members of the "Martilyo Gang" shamelessly attacked jewelry stalls at the upper ground floor of the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

According to the police, the Martilyo Gang operates by causing the people to panic, the suspects will take advantage of the commotion and will break the jewelry's glass display protector using tools such as hammer they bought within the mall. Once broken, they will take as much jewelries as they can and will quickly escape by mixing with the panicking crowd.

Similar incident happened at the SM North Edsa on the evening of December 15, 2013. Alleged members of the Martilyo Gang scared holiday shoppers by gun shots and immediately attacked the jewelry stalls located at the ground level of the mall's department store area.

The most recent attack allegedly by the Martilyo Gang happened at the SM Mall of Asia on the evening of last Sunday, March 30.

The three incidents all happened on a weekend where more people are wandering in the mall, all happened on the evening, around past 7 p.m. and with one operational procedure.

Though no one obtained major injury from the three robbery incidents, it obviously showed that the public's safety was massively put at risk.

Since the first incident, Valmoria said they kept on reminding the mall owners and it's security agencies to review their security measure protocols for everyone's safety such as not allowing anyone wearing bull caps enter the mall, thoroughly check the baggage of the entering customers, providing an X-ray metal detectors and high definition CCTV cameras and increasing the visibility of security guards within the mall's vicinity.

However, Valmoria said they still cannot consider deploying police officers inside the malls because it can also be used by the bad eggs for their activities.

"Kung pupunan naman natin ng pulis ang mga malls baka naman maubusan tayo ng pulis sa iba pang risky areas,"

At the end of the day, Valmoria said taking care of the security of the mall goers is still at the hands of the mall owners, on how they are willing to invest for the public's safety.

"All we can do is to remind them and educate them pero nasakanila pa din ang huling desisyon," he said. (Sunnex)

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