Most if not all negligent security cases have a central theme; profits over people. As a Miami personal injury lawyer that specializes representing victims of negligent security, I have found that all negligent security cases revolve around money, and the business owner/land owners goal of making more money.
A property owner owes its guests a non-delegable duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes taking all reasonable efforts to provide for the safety of its guests and employees. For purposes of this article, business owner means the owner of a restaurant, shopping mall, store, apartment complex, fast food retailer, convenience store, etc.
While fast food restaurants and convenience stores are more prone to criminal activity, all of the above business locations need to take all reasonable steps to protect their guests and employees from criminal activity, and that first step is knowing the neighborhood and propensity for criminal activity in the area. A business owner can and should order what is known as a CAP index report. A CAP index report provides a thorough assessment of the crime and loss risks at any given address, and is used to forecast the likelihood of loss occurring at a given location. This invaluable report costs $245.00. I am currently representing a man that was shot and paralyzed while working at a “Subway” restaurant. Subway restaurants are all owned and operated by individual franchisees. The owner of this giant conglomerate is Doctor’s Associates, and while they may have some nice commercials, they would be better served with a little less advertising, and a little more(a lot more) attention to safety. To that end, Subway does not tell their franchisee’s that they could or should order a CAP index report, because if they did that would potentially scare off a franchisee from opening a location, and that would mean less money for Subway.
Assuming a business owner ordered a CAP index study, the next step is to implement appropriate safety measures based on that study. Those safety measures can range from the most basic of better lighting to employing a security guard. Other suggestions are surveillance cameras, a secure entry system, bullet proof glass, and training employees on what to do in the event of a robbery. All security experts will say that in the event of a robbery, the best thing to do is to cooperate. If the robber asks for money, give him the money. Again, making reference to Subway, this corporation requires its franchisees to purchase a specific point of service system, and to turn in weekly sales reports that are printed from this system. The issue with the system is that it disables the cash register while the reports are printing, and thus if an employee is robbed while these reports are printing, the cash register will not open. Subway does not tell its franchisees not to print these reports during operating hours. Again, profits over people. The common theme; money.
In summary, the best way to prevent violent crime from occurring on a property is to know the area and the criminal activity within that specific area, and with that information in hand, a business owner can then take the appropriate safety measures. That being said, security measures are not glamorous, they may cost a little bit of money, but most importantly they save lives.