Sunday, 8 July 2012

Safety measures at new mall

IN view of the recent abduction and robbery cases that have taken place at carparks in the country, The Star checked out several parking spots in Ipoh and spoke to members of the public on how they feel about parking there.

Being the latest and newest shopping mall to come up in Ipoh, Aeon Station 18’s indoor parking area was brightly lit and equipped with close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at various entrance and exit points.

There were also clear signs to indicate that the carpark area was under CCTV surveillance so as to deter would-be criminals.

The guards keep in touch with each other using walkie-talkies and have been trained to watch out for strangers who loiter around the car park for too long. - CHAN YU YIN
Shopper Shamsul Anwar Md Said, 29, said he felt better assured of his safety with regular patrolling by security guards.

“I believe their presence does deter crime.

“It is also good thinking to have separate parking areas for motorcycles and cars, meaning to say that motorcycles are not allowed into the parking area for other vehicles.

“And so, snatch thieves on motorcycles will not be able to prowl at the parking area for cars,” he said.

Teacher Low Sue Ann, 26, has only been once to the newly opened Giant Hypermarket in Bercham.

“I do not think I will go back again if I can avoid it as I did not feel very safe at the carpark. The place was not bright enough and I did not see a single guard on patrol,” she said.

The Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre has a multi-storey carpark as well as two underground parking lots.

A check showed that although brightly lit, the parking areas were relatively quiet and lonely.

Lawyer Janet Wong, 41, said she would try not park at the basement carpark if she were alone.

“It is very eerie and lonely down there. I would have to run to the lift and pray that it reaches fast in case something happens,” she said.

Complex manager Chan Yu Yin said being an older shopping mall, it was constantly making improvements to try to make the place safer for the public.

“We already have guards to patrol the area by foot and on motorcycle but we plan to employ more of them and also install additional CCTVs soon.

“The guards keep in touch with each other using walkie-talkies and have been trained to watch out for strangers who loiter around the car park for too long,” he said, adding that the police also patrolled the parking areas at Ipoh Parade.

Kompleks Yik Foong has a small one-level carpark with a single entry and exit point.

Unlike previously, the place is now brightly lit with CCTVs placed at several locations although there are no guards patrolling the area.

There is only a cashier, stationed at the exit, to keep an eye on the vehicles that come in and out.

General practitioner Dr T.P. Chan said no doubt the place had more lighting compared to previously but it still looked gloomy.

“I avoid parking there at all costs unless it is raining. I would park opposite the complex and walk a longer distance to get to it,” he said.

The most dismal of all was the Ipoh Central Market car park, which does not have ample lighting and security guards patrolling the area.

It is no wonder that several robberies have been reported at the carpark.

When contacted, Datuk Bandar Datuk Roshidi Hashim said the Ipoh City Council would be installing additional lighting sources.

“We also plan to set up CCTVs inside the carpark.

“We have received a proposal from a company to set up a carwash inside the car park.

“I think this is a very good plan as there will be increased human presence at the carpark to deter criminal activities,” he said.-( TheStar )

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