Design of Casino parking garages encourages violent crimes: Security expert

Design of Casino parking garages encourages violent crimes: Security expert

The way casino parking garages provide criminals ‘isolation’ and ‘anonymity’ encourages predators to attack visitors, a security expert has warned. Brad Bonnell, principal of the Hotel Security Group, said in an interview that it isn’t surprising that various kinds of crimes take place in casino parking garages. He stressed that ‘isolation’ and ‘anonymity’ given by these places are among the biggest reason for encouraging predators to attack visitors, particularly well-funded tourists, in these places.

Bonnell formerly served as vice president of loss prevention for Extended Stay America, and international director of security for InterContinental Hotels. Before those roles, he served as an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and chief of staff at the Georgia State Patrol Department.

According to Bonnell, the design of a garage makes a property more welcoming for criminals. Most of the garages are enclosed, have numerous levels, and feature sloping ramps. Their stairwells and elevators are also often chosen by criminals to carry out crimes. In addition, a large number of parked vehicles can make a particular garage darker by blocking light. As most of such places are open to the all, entry and exit of anyone is quite easy. Many victims don’t even return to casino to testify in lengthy court proceedings. That is particularly true of guests who belong to some other state.

Suggesting some ways to improve security in casino parking garages, Bonnell said smarter building design, better lighting and designing of elevators and stairways could help a lot in preventing crime.  

Speaking on the topic, the security expert suggested, “Via Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), hotels and casinos can lower the risk for garages to become targets for crime. Lighting and the design of elevators and stairways can be improved.”

The security expert also recommends restrooms should have ‘maze-type’ entrances as it would reduce the risk for muggings or other attacks. Plus, panic buttons, intercoms, and surveillance cameras should be increased in addition to deploying more security personnel.

It is worth-mentioning here that a number of US casino parking garages were the scenes of crimes, including shootings, in the recent months. A week ago, a man was shot at the Agua Caliente Casino garage in Palm Springs, California. In a separate incident last month, a fatal shooting took place at Tacoma, Washington-based Emerald Queen Casino parking garage. Both incidents are being investigated as attempted homicides.