Shopping centre council to beef up security

JULIE Hillary, MD of property management company Finlay and the first woman president of the South African Council of Shopping Centres, says she plans to reinforce the groundwork laid by the council last year to combat crime at shopping centres.

Hillary, who was appointed last week as president, says the foundation has already been laid for the anticrime measures and she wants to “ensure that these are taken to the next level”.

The council, together with associations such as Business Against Crime, commercial property association Sapoa and the Consumer Goods Council of SA have analysed the types of crimes that occur in shopping centres and have also identified crime “hotspots”.

They have highlighted various crime prevention measures that can be implemented by shopping centres.

Independent meetings are also held with shopping centres affected by crime to put in place preventative measures.

Hillary says shopping centres have in general “beefed up” security following some crime incidents over the past two years.

She says her main focus during her year in office will be to strengthen the council’s secretariat, which was formed last year. The secretariat consists of paid staff who run the organisation.

“I want to strengthen the secretariat and add additional services that will provide more benefit to members.” Hillary plans to also grow the organisation’s member base and attract people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Hillary has worked at Finlay for 16 years. Finlay has produced the first two women to lead major commercial property bodies.

Article by: Nick Wilson - www.businessday.co.za