Les Halles: Retail and Security

In our observations of Les Halles shopping centre, we focused on examining the security precautions throughout the mall. As the primary function of a shopping centre is to provide retail businesses and consumers a safe and contained space to interact, keeping high levels of security to maintain the safety of all members of Les Halles is of the utmost importance. This includes the prevention of dangerous individuals from entering the mall, and the prevention of shoplifting or robbery of the shops.

In order to effectively study our variable, we narrowed our research focus to level -3 of Forum Des Les Halles. This was primarily because it was by far the busiest: serving as the main exit point from the subway station, possessing significant number of public facilities such as: Forum des images, salle de billard, bibliotheque du cinema Francois Truffaut, media musicale de Paris,  in addition to laying claim to a diverse array of shopping complexes. In collecting data on our variable –security- we primarily surveilled and took count of all the security cameras around the public spaces and inside the stores. This was by far the most effective method since many people didn’t know the specific number of cameras around and their major concentration points. Security guards were also hesitant on releasing these details to the public. In assessing the security situation inside stores, we interviewed the security guards to get a comprehensive idea of the different security measure applied. Some were cooperative while some were not.

After our observations, we noticed that the cameras are the most important tool used for security. From interviewing security guards, we learned that there are 300 cameras in the whole mall. A permanent group of 12 bodyguards also works for the mall, and at important periods like the Les Soldes, there are 20.

  • CCTV cameras highly concentrated near subway exits and floor to floor transition zones
    • spots with escalators running across floors.
  • Lanes near construction sites have very few or no cameras at all.
  • After collecting data, we made this table and separated retail regarding their speciality.
  • Jewelry shops did not give us any information
  • In the clothing shops, there is almost 3 security measure: cameras, bodyguard and anti-theft detectors.
  • The same goes for restaurants, excluding anti-theft detectors.
Specialty of the Shop Brands Security measures
The whole mall 300 cameras

12 security guards

(20 during sale)

Jewelry No communicated data
Clothes New look Machines at the entrance

Security guards (2)

Cameras (30)

Food/Restaurant McDonald’s One camera per cashier; monitoring both the employee and the customers .
Optician Aflelou Cameras

Security guard

Security button that alerts mall security to come aid the store

From our findings, we can suggest the following improvements to the security of Les Halles: first of all, though the construction is necessary for the advancement of Les Halles into its renovated state, there is a dearth of security cameras and guards in areas subject to construction. Moreover, the small, winding paths and dead ends created by the obstructions from construction can create dangerous areas in which criminals could hide. Though there are security cameras near the entrances to the metro station, there are rarely security guards positioned there. As these are high-risk entrance and exit points to Les Halles, security should be of higher priority. In hindsight as well, we noticed a lack of accessible, public fire extinguishers. These would allow the public and employees present in Les Halles to extinguish any small fires quickly; however, as we have no data on the fire safety of Les Halles, this is a minor suggestion.

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