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

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

As the Miami Hurricanes started their third series against the FIU Panthers on Saturday afternoon, t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is headed to the championship of one th ...

The Miami women's tennis team posted a 5-2 mark in official matches on the second day of the Mi ...

Freshman Riley Howard continued her incredible start as a Canes cross country runner setting another ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to host Virginia Tech Sunday at noon at Cobb Stadium. ...

TMH Twitter
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.