Opinion

The little-known facts of negligent security

Negligent security is a form of premises liability, in which an owner or operator of property can be held liable for injuries that occur on their property. Most negligent security cases boil down to two major issues that involve foreseeability and preventability:

(1) Was the event foreseeable?

While not all crimes can be reasonably anticipated, many can and are. The history of a particular area can be an incredibly accurate predictor of future criminal activity in that same area. A corollary to this concept is that criminal/security-related events that occur in one type of property (based on a variety of circumstances) may be more likely to occur at similar types of properties – in different locations. If a pattern of break-ins occurs in one location, I would argue that it would be negligent and careless for the owner/developer not to take preventative action to reduce the chances of similar activity occurring in their other locations.

(2) Was the event preventable?

Crime-prevention experts are likely to rely on the Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice Theory.

– Routine Activity Theory states that crime occurs at a place when there is an intersection of: (a) a likely target; and (b) the absence of any deterrent, such as a guard or detection device; and of course, (c) a potential offender.

– Rational Choice Theory simply states that criminals commit their bad acts when the perceived benefits outweigh the perceived risks. So someone with an interest in preventing criminal activity should look to: (i) increase the perceived difficulty of carrying out a crime; (ii) reduce the perceived reward of that crime; and (iii) increase the perceived risks involved.

Crime prevention involves hiring an expert with an eye toward strategically placing or protecting ingress/egress points, landscaping, lighting, fencing, that maximizes visibility and communicates control of an area of concern. The idea is to, when possible, manipulate the environment to reduce or increase such factors as necessary.

It is a commercial-property owner’s responsibility to consider these variables when risk factors present themselves.

Jason Neufeld, a University of Miami School of Law graduate, is an associate with Neufeld, Kleinberg Pinkiert, PA (www.nkplaw.com) If you would like to speak to an attorney, please call 1-800-379-TEAM (8326) and ask for Jason Neufeld, or email him directly at jneufeld@nkplaw.com.

November 20, 2011

Reporters

Jason Neufeld

Contributing columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was midweek when Miami leading receiver Braxton Berrios wistfully spoke of his four years as a Hu ...

Eli Rosier will be back where he belongs Saturday, where he feels most at home. He will be at a foot ...

The 11th-ranked University of Miami men’s basketball team remained undefeated with a 90-59 victory o ...

They remain undefeated — but still untested. The 11th-ranked University of Miami men’s basketball te ...

It has inspired T-shirts and a Migos-style hype song. Soon, fans will have a beer brewed in honor of ...

The Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation gift will establish the Business Plan Competition Endowed Fund. ...

C. David Naylor, a UM Presidential Scholar and public health policy expert, provided insight into he ...

A cohort of five religious leaders from Miami, including a rabbi and imam from the University of Mia ...

Hollywood actress and star of the hit BET series Being Mary Jane gets real about gender, race and co ...

The annual development agreement meeting is a time for the city and University to share information ...

Here are three matchups to watch in Saturday's Senior Day game between the No. 3 Canes and Virg ...

The University of Miami volleyball team produced some late-match magic Friday night to outlast an in ...

Miami's seniors will play their final home game at Hard Rock Stadium when the Canes face Virgin ...

Six Hurricanes were in double figures as the Hurricanes improved to 3-0 on the season. ...

The University of Miami rowing team introduced the newest members of the Hurricanes rowing program o ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.