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

The Miami Hurricanes are 2-0 when these two things happen: Michael Mediavilla starts, and Michael Bu ...

If Miami Hurricanes fans were hoping to hear that one quarterback charged forward with such authorit ...

The Florida State Seminoles came through in the clutch. The Miami Hurricanes did not. That pretty mu ...

The Jerry’s Pizza of Mark Richt’s youth is gone, but Fran’s Chicken Haven — “If the Colonel had our ...

Hey, Hurricane basketball fans, do you ever sit around and wonder whatever happened to Guillermo Dia ...

UM students, staff and faculty join the worldwide march to end men’s violence against women. ...

Greek Week at the University of Miami is committed to raising money and awareness for United Cerebra ...

Carlos Bustamante, a Presidential Distinguished Scholar, kicked off his series of lectures about gen ...

Edward Abraham, M.D., has been named Dean of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Med ...

Junior Kristiana Yao is the first named at UM in the last 33 years. ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team is set to play its final match of the regular season ...

Ebony Morrison & women's 4x100m won at Baylor, while Gabrielle Hesslau & Sean Grossman ...

Sunday's finale between the Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles (April 23) will be pla ...

The No. 39 Miami women's tennis team will play its final match of the regular season Sunday at ...

On a night when he connected for a grand slam against archrival Florida State in front of a sold-out ...

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 on Thursdays during the regular academic year.