Astrid reports over at Parknews.biz that she is getting news every day that crime in parking, read that in garages and with PEOs in on the rise, up in some areas as much as 95%. What are we, as an industry, doing about it?
It is almost like we are ignoring the problem. I don’t see activity on a national level attacking crime in our facilities. We have always had a bad reputation in this area, mayhaps its time to attack it head on.
We here at PT have a New Year’s resolution, to have articles in every issue about crime reduction and safety in garages. Starting in January, we have an excellent article about a former law enforcement professional who is using techniques he learned on “the job” to not only lower crime, but raise revenues and overall customer satisfaction. From the article:
One day, when I was reviewing data analytics for this parking lot, I noticed that the revenue numbers were up, car counts were up, citation collection rate was higher, but citation issuing was down. In addition, the appeals rate was lower, and there were a lot fewer complaints about safety concerns like lighting conditions, cleanliness, and even harassment from the homeless population. So, what had changed? This parking lot was doing well before he stepped in, but now it was outperforming every other parking lot in the region.
The solution was “saturation patrols.” The idea being that at non peak times, employees were in their uniforms, out in the garage, engaging customers, picking up trash, fixing lighting, dealing with homeless, and making the place more welcoming. Read the entire story in January PT.
But, and it’s a big BUT…to do this we have to have boots on the ground. That means we have to have employees in the garage. Rather than investing in ways to lower the number of staff, we have to keep our customers engaged with those who work in the garages. Sure, maybe we can ‘get rid’ of a staff member by applying this technology or that, but what if we can increase our revenues by double or triple the cost of that staff member by keeping him or her in place? Which is the better decision?
I think I know the answer to that, and so do you.