Meet IPC International Security – The Shopping Mall Security Company with Criminal Employees

According to the criminal complaint, employees at several stores in Rosedale were reporting thefts and break-ins that were occurring after mall hours. The complaint said a “concerned citizen” contacted IPC International, the company that provides mall security at Rosedale. The “concerned citizen” said numerous security guards were involved in burglaries and thefts in the mall, and named Fransen and Woodhams.

A Harris County jury Thursday awarded a woman abducted at the Galleria and sexually assaulted more than $3 million in her civil suit against the luxury shopping center’s owner and the firm that provides its security.

*IPC International was the Security Provider for the District at Tustin Legacy – Feeling Safer Yet?

Founded in 1978 as General Investigative Corp,. Illinois-based IPC grew to become a major player in mall security staffing in the United States.

The company filed for Chapter 11 protection Aug. 9 after a failed attempt to expand into the United Kingdom and enduring the ripple effect of the 2008 recession.

The operations across the pond were never profitable and had to be funded by IPC’s domestic business before being sold in 2010, draining liquidity in the process, IPC attorneys have said.

Meanwhile, the 2008 recession had hurt the shopping malls and centers for which the company provides service, eventually trickling down to the security provider as opportunities began to dwindle, according to IPC’s court filings.

Making matters worse, the structure of the company’s general liability insurance that included a $1 million deductible had become a major cash drain, but IPC was able to switch its policy to one with a $100,000 deductible in 2011.

I can assure you that there is no legal basis for a shopping mall like the one you’re describing to forbid photography


I’ve just been eavesdropping as a cc on this matter but I can assure you that there is no legal basis for a shopping mall like the one you’re describing to forbid photography on its premises, whether by a journalist or anyone else.

If a mall visitor were using a camera (or a shoehorn or a Baby Ruth) in a manner to disrupt, harass or deter the lawful activities of others, that conduct could be a basis for asking the person to leave.

But photography as such is a communicative activity which, pursuant to decisions of the California Supreme Court, cannot simply be barred by a proprietor of commercial property who has opened that property to traffic and casual congregation by the general public. Anyone rousted, ousted or arrested for taking a picture would have a tort case against the mall and/or the police that many lawyers would be happy to take.

By the way, instead of barring dogs from this mall, its owners should hire them as security guards and get rid of the two-legged specimens, who don’t seem to have the fine discrimination and judgment that most canines display.

P.S. If you are not already on the list, and if you do not object (just let me know), I will add your e-mail address to our free weekly newsletter subscriber list; please adjust any SPAM filters you may have accordingly.

Terry Francke
General Counsel
Californians Aware]

Amateur photographer questions code of conduct for visitors at the District at Tustin Legacy Mall

Tustin, California –

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Getting the picture at The District
Amateur photographer questions code of conduct for visitors.
Sandra Bill wanted to practice her photography skills when she visited The District last week with her friend, Jet Miller.

As Bill began snapping photos of the lighted water fountain near the AMC theater, a security guard approached her and told her she would need permission from officials to take photos.

“I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m just taking pictures of water,” Bill recalls telling the security guard.

Bill said the guard then took out a piece of paper which he referred to as a code of conduct and told her it was the shopping center’s policy not to allow photos to be taken.

Bill called the experience “insane” and doesn’t plan on visiting the center again anytime soon. “We thought it would be someplace fun to go, but there’s really no need for me to go down there. Who knows what else they’re going to do – you can’t chew gum while you’re there?”

Vestar, the firm developing The District (off of Barranca Parkway and Jamboree Road, where the helicopter base was), released on Tuesday a written set of unacceptable behavior for the shopping center.

The policy states individuals may take photos for personal use, but requires media and professional photographers to receive written permission.

Then why was Bill told she couldn’t take photos of a water fountain?

“Center management was unable to find any security officer who remembered an incident with a woman taking a photo at a fountain, and is therefore unable to provide any information about that subject,” a spokesperson for Vestar, Judith Brower, said.

However, as of Monday afternoon, one guard said visitors could not take any photos. Another guard said photos of fountains could be taken but not of the buildings.

Brower said Vestar is continuing to train the security officers and will relay the policy guidelines to them to make sure confusion does not occur in the future.

Failing to be fully clothed, lingering, remaining idle, annoying others through unnecessary staring and singing are among the restrictions set in the policy.

The policy also prohibits soliciting donations and distributing promotional material without the written permission of The District management.

Terry Francke, a lawyer who specializes in open government and free expression, said The District could run into some problems if they attempt to enforce all aspects of the policy.

Under California’s trespass law, Penal Code Section 602.1, solicitors for donations are protected under a statute that exempts persons who are “engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution.”

“They cannot use the trespass, or any other, law to treat as a criminal offense activity that is protected by the First Amendment – speech, interviews, photography – if done in a low-key, unobtrusive manner,” Francke said.

However, Greg Stoffel, a shopping center consultant, said the rules are typical of other shopping centers and are used simply to try and keep the peace.

“If they’re overly protective at first I’m sure they’re just trying to keep it under some form of control,” Stoffel said, adding the key to the policy is how it’s enforced.

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