There are a number of things property owners should do to prevent negligent security incidents and crimes from happening at their premises. First of all, property owners and businesses need to recognize that they have a responsibility towards visitors and customers that frequent their premises. We all have the right to be reasonably safe when we visit private or public property.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), criminals committed a staggering 1.2 million rapes, assaults, robberies, and murders in the U.S. in 2018. While not all of these crimes happen due to negligent security, some happen due to a lack of security at public or private premises.
However, it can be tricky to determine the exact steps a property owner should take, as this depends on the type of property in question. For example, a night club or late-night bar will require a different set of security measures than a retail store that operates in daytime hours in a mall.
Measures to Prevent Negligent Security
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to security measures. However, there are some general steps every business owner can take, and these include:
A property owner should ensure that a property is well-lit at all times, including outside areas such as dark alleyways. This can help to deter criminals who may feel safe under the cover of darkness. An adequate maintenance program should include checking lighting fixtures regularly, making sure to repair any broken lighting immediately.
Security Cameras and Alarms
It can be a good idea to install several security cameras around a property, particularly at entry and access points. A criminal will think twice about committing a crime when they could find themselves on tape. Security cameras can also help to solve crimes once they have happened. Alarm systems can provide a good deterrent for criminals and alert property owners and law enforcement to suspicious activity and break-ins.
Hiring a Security Firm
In some instances, especially when it comes to nightclubs or other premises that stay open into the early hours and may have a large number of visitors, hiring a security firm can be crucial. Property owners should also consider having qualified and trained security guards available for protecting the premises.
Having Physical Barriers
Criminals look for an easy way to get to money or satisfy their violent tendencies. If they see that a property owner leaves gates and doors unlocked or has broken fencing or gates, they may target that property before any others. Not having adequate physical barriers can put visitors and customers in unnecessary danger.
Consulting with Law Enforcement
A property owner who cares about the safety of their property will consult with local law enforcement. They could, for example, ask the local police about crime rates in the area and discuss any measures that can help them keep their property safe.
Warning Visitors with Signage
A responsible property owner should be aware of the crime rate in the immediate surroundings of their property and take steps to warn any visitors in addition to tightening security measures. If there are thieves in the area, for example, a property owner could install a sign alerting people to remain vigilant at all times.
There are many other ways in which a property owner should prevent negligent security, depending on their property and the nature of their business.
You Could Sue a Negligent Property Owner
If property owners and representatives fail to install adequate security measures and a visitor to the property gets hurt, the victim could have legal recourse and potentially recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Psychological counseling
- Loss of income
- Pain and anguish
- Emotional suffering
A crime victim could also receive other compensation, depending on their case, the severity of their injuries, and the extent of any property damage.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (the victim of the crime) could potentially hold several liable parties to account, including a property owner, a business renting the premises, a management company, a security firm, and others.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you suffered the financial consequences of a crime, and you may have a negligent security claim, you can contact us for help and advice. We can determine whether you have a case and could potentially receive compensation for your injuries and expenses. We can also determine your best next steps for getting justice.
Proving negligent security can be challenging and lengthy. However, we do not shy away from tough cases and can fight for the settlement that you deserve. If a property owner or another party acted negligently and this contributed to causing you harm, they should pay for your damages.
Contact a negligent security attorney at Ben Crump Law, PLLC today and tell us about your case.