The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Catherine Eikelbarner

Some stores are starting to resort to locking up products that are in high demand to combat the prevailing issues of violence and theft, like Target in Tanforan Mall did.

Increasing violence in malls: the risk of retail work

Armed robbery in San Bruno retail store. Palm Desert mall suspect was tased in the parking lot. Multiple fights break out in San Francisco malls. These are just a few incidents consuming newspapers, websites, and stories occurring more frequently compared to past years.

Violence is seen everywhere, whether it be in grocery stores, at schools, or even in nail salons and offices. Any place can fall victim to violence or significant threats, and affect anyone and everyone.

According to the CDC, “Retail work is one of the highest-risk jobs for workplace violence. Violence isn’t just hitting, fighting, and shooting. It can also be sexual harassment, rape, bullying, stealing, and verbal abuse.” 

Employees at the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno have experienced these situations firsthand and have recently noticed a rise in violence at malls.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we saw an increase in violence from guests or customers,” said Danny Inalod, a closing team lead at Tanforan’s Target. Inalod, a Target employee since 2001, has noticed an increase over the last few years, starting at the end of 2019. 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were several incidents of fights over shortages of items at stores. That violent atmosphere lingers almost two years later, putting retail and chain store workers at risk.

Assault is the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths and falls into four categories: criminal intent, customer and client interaction, and personal along with worker-on-worker relationships. Even if these acts of assault do not lead to a fatal outcome, they are still prevalent in the average day of retail workers and create problems in the workplace. 

Struggles of security

A common consensus among multiple employees was how security does not seem to do its job, or at the very least, care about preventing theft in stores and protecting workers. "For one customer, we called security first, and then my boss ended up calling the cops," Flores said. "The cops ended up getting here before mall security. They got here 30 minutes later and were like, 'What is the problem?'"�...

Through the eyes of employees

"A couple of months ago, there were these kids that came in to tag the corridors. The owner went to address it, and those kids attacked the owner and punched him in the head."  This incident is an experience told by anonymous source John Smith*, who works in Tanforan mall but requested to have their identity remain confidential to protect their store.  Vast types of violence between customers and wo...

Combatting the issue

Target is one of few stores that has been able to address the issues with security by hiring and implementing a store-centered security team.  "It helps that we have those two teams together to de-escalate [the situation]. Partner with security if you can't de-escalate, that's all we can do," Inalod said.  However, hiring a store-focused security team is costly and challenging for some sto...

Scot Scoop News • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Comments (0)

We invite comments and responses to our content. Comments that are deemed appropriate and relevant will be published.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *