Ask almost any woman you know and she’ll likely have multiple stories about feeling unsafe in a parking lot or garage. The inherently sheltered design of covered parking structures plus the constant flow of traffic create nearly unlimited opportunities to hide unwanted behavior from watchful eyes. Women are more likely to be hyper aware of these possible safety concerns, but everyone can benefit from better security measures. So how can parking companies help all of their customers, not just women, be and feel safer?
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY IS KEY
Emerging technologies allow parking facilities to keep their customers safer than ever before. Edgeworth Security, as an industry-leading provider of remote monitoring solutions, is continually investing in this new technology. State of the art security solutions like Remote Guarding allow potential issues to be addressed quickly or prevented altogether. With smart cameras augmented with AI and machine learning, Remote Guarding is better able to distinguish customers from criminals than other security systems.
When parking facilities adopt these new technologies, parking guests feel safer and in turn are more likely to use those particular facilities. In interviewing several women of different ages and backgrounds, they all presented with similar stories of feeling unsafe while in and around parking lots. Here are their stories and how Edgeworth’s advanced security technology could have solved their concerns.
WHAT IF… YOU COULD PREVENT LOITERING AND TRESPASSING?
A young woman crosses a mall parking lot and nervously notices a group of men loitering inside a car. Worried that they have nefarious intent, she goes back to the mall and asks a random older couple to walk her to her car. They agree and she gets to her car safely.
With new technology such as smart cameras augmented with artificial intelligence and machine learning, security systems are now able to learn the natural rhythms to a particular site and pinpoint abnormal activity, such as people loitering. These smart cameras are able to cover every inch of ground in a parking facility all at once, including around corners, inside elevators, and around the cars themselves.
“The artificial intelligence would have made me
feel much more comfortable knowing that it was
learning what was normal or not for that facility.”
Many parking facilities are now installing remote monitoring systems, like Remote Guarding, to utilize these specialized smart cameras to their fullest capacity. Upon detecting abnormal activity, an alert is sent to one of our live monitoring agents in our US based Monitoring Center. The agent then evaluates the situation and, if deemed necessary, speaks directly to criminals demanding they leave immediately or face law enforcement. This sends the criminal fleeing, preventing loitering, vandalism, and other crimes around the facility. If this mall parking lot had been outfitted with Remote Guarding, the group of men would not have been there to scare the woman.
WHAT IF… YOU COULD PROVIDE INSTANT CUSTOMER SERVICE?
But what if the couple had not been there to help the woman to her car, and she had been completely alone? This brings us to our next story of a young pregnant woman working early mornings and late nights in a downtown area. The parking garage she has to use is dark, has vagrants and loiterers constantly hanging around the structure at all hours, and is filled with places where criminals can easily hide their crimes from sight. Thankfully she always reached her car safely, but the anxiety she goes through every day is not healthy for her or her unborn child.
“I had to walk in the dark by myself, 21 and pregnant,
and I always felt scared and alone.”
What could have been done to help her feel safer walking in the dark?
Even when available, human escorts come with a host of challenges, including customer wait time, employee travel time to the request, and displacement of an employee from other duties. Now, remote options are emerging as an immediate alternative that don’t take human resources away from other parts of the facilities. Edgeworth, as a leading security company constantly developing new processes and features, has created a service called “Remote Escort” that deploys a live monitoring agent to remotely follow a person to their destination.
Stations are placed throughout the parking facilities where a customer can press a button and request a remote escort. An agent will then speak to the customer directly through the system’s loudspeakers and assure them that they will be following their path through the facility. This service helps customers feel safer, with an agent actively monitoring them and ready to help in the event that something should occur.
Remote Escort, coupled with Remote Guarding’s deterring of loiterers, help ensure guest safety. If a service like Remote Escort had been made available to the young pregnant woman, she would have been saved a lot of stress and anxiety.
WHAT IF… YOU COULD PROACTIVELY GUARD YOUR PARKING FACILITIES?
But what if you’re not just concerned about your personal safety, but the safety of your property? A group of friends plan a night out and rent a parking spot through an app. They drive to the parking lot and arrive to a dark space with no parking attendant and no one else using the lot. The thought of leaving the car in this completely unattended and hidden lot, as well as the thought of having to come back to the lot late at night, made them nervous. They ultimately decided to leave the spot, request a refund, and go to another, better protected lot.
Consumers make those choices all the time: if they don’t like the option presented to them, they will leave and take their business elsewhere. So how can parking companies make sure both potential customers and potential criminals alike know that the space is protected, without having to pay for several guards that are subject to unavoidable human errors anyways?
“It left us with a bad customer experience. We didn’t think it would be safe to leave our car, we were just really unsure about the lot.”
The answer is to install a high-quality security solution and make it clear to everyone that the space is well protected. Edgeworth Security provides multiple signs to their clients so that the parking facility may advertise their superior security system and equipment, which also serves as a visual deterrent for criminals. Remote Monitoring responds to any suspicious activity by speaking directly to the potential criminal and commanding they leave, and calling law enforcement if they do not. Remote Guarding offers superior protection in combination with or in replacement of a human guard or attendant at a more affordable price. With signage clearly communicating the lot was under direct, live monitoring, and the ability for lot visitors to speak to agents should they have safety concerns, this group of friends would have felt much more secure leaving their property at the lot and would probably have stayed in their original spot.
EDGEWORTH CAN ANSWER YOUR “WHAT IF’S”
While women are more likely to feel threatened, improved security measures can benefit everyone that uses a parking lot or garage. All the women above when interviewed said that if they had known something like Remote Guarding was set up in the parking facility, they wouldn’t have worried as much.
With Remote Guarding, companies can rest easy knowing that their parking facilities are being protected, have a reduced risk of incidents, and make people more likely to frequent their business. Everyone deserves to feel safe, and emerging technology can make it a reality.
To get in contact with an Edgeworth expert today, call (412) 334-1961 or fill out our Contact form.