Malls told: Monitor CCTV, beef up parking security
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - October 23, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Mall operators in Cebu City are urged to constantly monitor their closed-circuit television (CCTV) system and beef up their parking lot security following a mall robbery incident in Mandaue City over the weekend.

Mayor Edgardo Labella met with the mall operators yesterday to discuss what security measures can be done to prevent the J Centre Mall incident from happening in Cebu City. Representatives from different malls were asked of their security measures and how this could be improved.

The mayor lauded Robinsons and SM Malls for their constant monitoring of their security surveillance system. Labella said this is the most appropriate way to prevent and immediately react to any possible security threat.

He urged other mall owners to also observe the same security measure. Labella said it has been observed by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) that CCTVs are only viewed after a crime has been committed.

The mayor, however, was happy to note that malls in Cebu City are "equip with the security requirement and procedure."  It was also agreed during the meeting to tighten the security in parking lots because this is where suspicious people usually stay.

Labella also announced yesterday the city's plan to establish an artificial intelligence system that will alert the city’s command center for any security threat. He hopes the system will be up before the year ends.

The mayor, however, said that the project is quite expensive because it is sophisticated.

"It will cover all areas of the city that will connect to the command center that we will have upstairs," said Labella.

Any untoward situation or incident will be registered to this alert system and the city situation can easily be monitored.

"We should have a kind of system as a form of a precautionary measure," said Labella.

"When the crime has been consummated, we can no longer bring back the lives of people that are lost... We can no longer recover most of the properties that were stolen," he added.

Labella said he will also send letters to barangay captains for them to monitor the boarding houses and apartments located in their respective area, especially for the identification of transient persons. Malls will be monitored by the police to ensure immediate response if a crime occurs.

The mayor stressed the importance of coordination among all the stakeholders to prevent robbery from happening here.

At least 15 robbers allegedly from Ozamiz City hit J Centre Mall in Mandaue City last Saturday carting away an estimated P136 million worth of cash and jewelry from five establishments inside the mall.

Four of the suspects were later killed by the police in separate hot pursuit operations in northern Cebu. Five others were arrested while at least four who are allegedly in possession of the loot remain at large. FPL (FREEMAN)

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