In the last four decades, modernity has increasingly become equated with a globalized world risk society. In the same period, the private security sector has grown significantly in size and prominence for the maintenance of public safety. This article reports the results of a survey of large retail malls to prevent and respond to terrorist attack in the United States after 9/11. A national survey of security directors (n120) of large shopping malls over 250,000 square feet (n1,372) was conducted in two phases beginning in the Summer of 2004. Few concrete changes to security expenditures and measures have resulted since 9/11. Half of security directors believe their respective mall is unprepared for terrorist attack and fewer than a third have rehearsed for terrorist incidents with public agencies such as police, ambulance, and fire services. There has also reportedly been little direct support from the Department of Homeland Security. Nonetheless, most mall security directors report additional training for their officers, the implementation of policies regarding suspected terrorist activity and the creation of emergency response plans. The authors consider these results in light of public fear, the perceived risk of another terrorist attack, and the priorities of mall security directors surveyed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Private security, Risk, Shopping malls, Terrorism
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.sj.8350084
Journal Security Journal
Citation
Rigakos, G, Davis, R.C. (Robert C.), Ortiz, C. (Christopher), Blunt, A.K, & Broz, J. (Joseph). (2009). Soft targets: A national survey of the preparedness of large retail malls to prevent and respond to terrorist attack after 9/11. Security Journal, 22(4), 286–301. doi:10.1057/palgrave.sj.8350084