Optimization of video surveillance in the shopping centre before the holidays and sales

Optimization of video surveillance in the shopping centre before the holidays and sales

According to research by the US National Retail Fund (NRF), most shopping centres (malls) receive 1/3 of the annual revenue during the global sales and winter holidays. At the same time, the security systems of the shopping centre are under severe stress. Improvement of the existing security infrastructure, including video surveillance in the shopping centre, must be done before Black Fridays and holidays. Let’s talk about video surveillance optimization as a set of mandatory measures.

The specifics of the video surveillance system in shopping centres

Russian legislation imposes specific requirements on a shopping centre’s video surveillance system since these objects are places of people’s mass stay. The following factors must be observed to protect the population from possible terrorist acts in the shopping centre:

  1. The video monitoring system should provide visual control of the entire territory of the shopping centre and the adjacent territory.
  2. It is necessary to use video analytics to recognize the faces and licence number plates of vehicles.
  3. The video system must have an additional autonomous power source (in case of a power outage for 20 minutes or more). Read the helpful publication “Can Camcorders Work Without Electricity? TOP-3 solutions“.
  4. The video archive must be kept for 30 days.
  5. Video filming which is carried out without hindrance subject to the placement of information signs on video surveillance, the tenant entrepreneurs’ and the staff of the shopping centre written consent.

However, there are places on the territory of the shopping centre where video surveillance is strictly prohibited:

  • in changing rooms;
  • in public washrooms.

The dangers that lie in wait for people during global sales

In 2021, we can talk about the following risks to which visitors, employees and tenants of the shopping centre may be exposed:

  1. The risk of contracting Covid-19.
  2. Growth of thefts, including pickpockets.
  3. Risks of dangerous situations and incidents (fires, terrorist attacks, interpersonal conflicts).

Measures to optimize video surveillance in the shopping centre

Given the scale of the mall CCTV system, it is impossible to track every camera in real-time. Also, operators cannot view the entire volume of footage.

It would help if you also considered the possible manifestation of the human factor (i.e. errors), so it can be concluded that traditional visual control methods do not provide 100% protection, especially during sales and holidays.

Optimization of the security system includes the following methods.

Biometrics and Access Control

Biometric systems are used on the shopping centre’s territory to provide access or prohibition to controlled areas, for example, to warehouses, in office premises.

It is also worth noting the importance of non-contact biometric methods of personal identification in crowded places during a global pandemic.

Read about the benefits of biometrics for business in 2021 here.

Reducing the risk of theft

The most popular function of intelligent video analytics for business is face recognition. The technology, based on artificial intelligence, allows to:

  • maintain “white” and “black” lists of visitors in the shopping centre, including thieves and pickpockets.
  • match faces found in video footage and the database;
  • classify visitors;
  • identify specific people;
  • notify the operator about the appearance of people from the lists.

Also, video monitoring cameras can be configured to detect people’s suspicious behaviour, identifying possible offences.

Search for missing children

Lost children in a shopping centre are not uncommon. The frequency of such incidents increases during the holidays, sales and school holidays. Suppose in advance, before the influx of visitors, you configure the search for children by IP cameras. In that case, the security personnel will be able to find children in the streams of people in a matter of minutes.

Activity tracking

During working hours, video cameras can monitor visitors’ behaviour and congestion and record the observance of work discipline by the shopping centre employees.

Outside working hours, the video monitoring system can be configured to detect activity and movement in the territory of an empty centre and parking lots.

Triggering alerts in real-time

Security optimization assumes that the number of false calls will be minimized, and the shopping centre’s overall security level will increase.

An essential feature of modern video surveillance is quickly alerting the operator or law enforcement agencies when an incident occurs or people’s suspicious behaviour is detected.

For example, when a person from the list of unwanted visitors appears at the doorstep of a shopping centre, the security service will be on high alert.

Business Intelligence Management

Aggregated video materials can be presented as:

  • statistical reports;
  • charts;
  • information panels;
  • heat maps.

Analytical data helps to ensure public safety, reduce crime rates, and provide a better understanding of shopping centre visitors’ behavioural factors.


The security of a shopping centre, its premises, and visitors during the holidays and sales is not an easy task. Make it easier with software for video content analysis. We recommend using the Faceter service.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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