What Is Car Park Security?

Written by Holly Savage

28th February 2023

Car parks are often a considerable target hotspot for crime. Back in 2021 within England and Wales, 108,542 motor vehicle thefts were reported. These are worrying figures and it is no wonder that many people are concerned about leaving their cars in car parks. One way to reduce car theft is by employing good car park security, but what is car park security?  We’ll be discussing this and more such as, what can parking lot security do, and why you should try to park in a secure car park.

What Is A Secure Car Park?

There are many different types of car parks ranging from small private business car parks to huge commercial public car parks, and all car parks can become secure car parks. A secure car park is simply a car park that has installed good security protection such as security guards or ANPR cameras.

Do Car Parks Have Security?

Yes, most car parks will have security in place as they often become victims of crime. Some of the most common crimes that take place in car parks are:

  • Vehicle Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Violent Assaults.
  • Car-jacking.

But crime isn’t the only issue that car parks face. Car parks will often face other security risks and issues such as:


  • Unauthorised Visitors.
  • Cars Parking Out Of Hours.
  • Leaving Abandoned Cars.
  • People Not Paying For Their Parking.
car park security

What Is Car Park Security?

Because of the worries of crime and other issues, many car park owners will employ car park security to ensure their protection; and car park security is simply the different security measures that are used to help ensure the protection of a car park. We have listed some of the most common security used within car parks.

Security Guards 

Car parks will hire security guards as an extra layer of protection on their car park. This is because guards will have a strong security presence and instantly give the impression that a business or location is well protected. Security officers who work in car parks can act as a visual deterrent against thieves and will often reduce crime within car parks by doing regular routine patrols. Security guards will work in many different types of car parks ranging from private car parks, retail car parks, to commercial car parks.

car park security guards

Security Cameras

Car parks will also improve their security by installing CCTV cameras around their premises. Security cameras are an excellent way to deter criminals as they will often review and survey blind spots within a car park. Cameras are also effective because they can often be used as evidence; so, if a crime is recorded within a car park, then the camera’s footage can be used to help find the criminals or as evidence within a law court.

car park security systems

ANRP (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) 

ANRP, also known as Automatic Number Plate Recognition, is technically a form of vehicle access control. ANRP will scan a vehicle’s plate and then determine if it is allowed access to the car park. Whether a car is allowed on a car park with ANRP installed will depend on various reasons such as whether the owner of the car has paid for their parking and if it is an employee entering the car park. Automatic number plate recognition systems can be an excellent security measure as they allow car park owners to manage who can enter the car park and it can stop any unauthorised visitors such as thieves from entering the car park.

how to improve car park security

Car Park Security Management Software 

Another way that car parks will stay secure is by using car park security management software. This is a software system that will digitally track how many cars are already inside your car park and how many spaces are still available. This is quite beneficial to car parks and can help them improve their security, as this software will help car park owners manage their car parks better and can help them identify any suspicious vehicles that are within their car park.

Secure public car park

What Does A Car Park Security Guard Do?

Security guards will be hired within car parks to help improve their safety. Car park security guards will have many tasks and responsibilities to oversee. Some of these are: 


  • Conducting regular car park security patrols.
  • Using CCTV monitoring equipment such as cameras to monitor different areas of the car park.
  • Answering customer enquiries and helping all visitors that the car park has.
  • Checking that all cars have valid tickets.
  • Ensuring the safety of all vehicles, workers, and visitors within a car park.
  • Protecting cars from damage or theft.
  • Writing security incident reports.
  • Responding to any security situations that take place.
secure car parking

Do You Need An SIA Licence To Work In Car Park Security?

Yes, security guards who work in car park security will need an SIA licence. This is because anyone who wants to work within the security industry will first need an approved licence by the SIA.

Should A Security Officer Patrol A Car Park By Themselves?

It is possible for car park security guards to patrol a car park by themselves. But whether they should patrol alone is another question as some people would argue it is not safe for guards to patrol alone at night within car parks. Research has shown that nighttime is a more active and dangerous time for crime. So, some people would argue that it would be safer for guards to patrol together as there is safer in numbers.

However, security guards do have rigorous training and will be prepared to deal with any potential security situations. Many night security guards who work in other job sectors such as airports may undertake patrols alone. So, whether guards who work in car parks are allowed to patrol by themselves will ultimately depend on the policies of the business that has hired the guard.

security car park

How Do Car Park Cameras Work

Another common security measure used for car park protection is ANPR cameras. ANPR cameras have built-in technology that will scan cars’ number plates as they try to enter or leave a car park. And these cameras will decide whether a car is allowed to enter or leave. If a car is allowed to enter, the cameras will make a note of the car’s registration plate, so that it can let them out when they decide to leave.

Many private business car parks find ANPR cameras useful as they can be tailored so that they automatically let in certain cars such as their employees into the car park.

Number Plate Recognition Versus Security Guards

Two of the most common security solutions that car parks will use are security guards and number plate recognition cameras, and many people do wonder which out of the two is the better security measure. And both have their advantages and disadvantages.

ANPR cameras are a great way to monitor everyone who tries to enter or leave a car park. And they can often be used to stop any unauthorised visitors or thieves from entering. ANPR cameras are also useful as they will make a note of people’s registration plates and if anyone overstays, cameras can be visually proof that car park owners need.

However, if a crime actively takes place within a car park – ANPR cameras aren’t much help. As they can’t physically stop a crime from happening and instead, they can only be used as evidence.

Security officers, however, can be used to actively stop and prevent crime from happening within a car park. Guards will deter criminals away from car parks through their strong security presence and by conducting regular security patrols around the car park.

car park protection

Why Should You Park In A Secure Car Park?

Car parks are a hotspot for criminal activity. So, it is important that people park their car in a secure car park or in a car park that has efficient security in place to ensure their vehicle’s protection. Parking in a car park that has good security will reduce the chances of people’s cars getting stolen or being damaged.

How To Secure Your Car In A Car Park

Although car parks will have security in place, there are things that you can do to ensure your vehicle’s safety within a car park. Some of the best ways to secure a car are:


  • Park your car in an area that is covered by security cameras.
  • Don’t park your car in an isolated area.
  • Keep valuable ideas out of sight, as these valuable items can attract thieves to your car.
  • Always double-check that you have locked your car’s doors before leaving your car.
  • Install a car security system inside your car.
  • Install a GPS tracker inside your car.
  • Place a car immobiliser on your steering wheel.
what is car park security

So, What Is Car Park Security?

Overall, car park security is the most common security measure that businesses will use to ensure the safety of their car park. The most common types of security found within car parks are security guards, security cameras, and automatic number plate recognition.

If you’re interested in staying up to date with the latest security guard news, why not take a look through our blog? Where you can find articles about how to become a security guard and about whether hospitals have security officers.

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