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When can crime victims accuse a property owner of negligence?

Crimes can potentially occur anywhere, but some locations have a greater risk of certain types of criminal activity than others. Criminals look for opportunities where the return on their risky behavior is highest while the chances of getting caught are lowest.

Certain types of businesses may have elevated risk for particular forms of criminal activity. Retail establishments, for example, are vulnerable to both robberies and shoplifting incidents, as well as burglary attempts. Nightclubs and bars may see patrons assaulting or drugging each other. Any facilities that cater to tourists or young adults may see more interactions lead to fights.

Sometimes, those injured in a criminal incident may have reason to blame a business or property owner for the incident that occurred. Negligent security claims sometimes follow criminal activity at a business or apartment building. When do victims of crimes have reason to blame businesses or property owners for negligent security practices?

When crimes are reasonably predictable

As previously noted, there are certain types of crime that are more of a concern with certain types of businesses or properties in specific areas. Business owners and those investing in real estate typically need to look into criminal risks for specific neighborhoods and also specific business types.

Their business practices, including the types of workers they hire and how much staff they keep on hand, should reflect the degree of criminal risk associated with their business plans. Property owners may need to take steps to secure their properties from those who might victimize others.

If another reasonable person would agree that the risk of certain criminal activity was higher because of a location or the type of business operated, then the party negatively affected by the criminal incident may have grounds to take legal action against the business or property owner by alleging they were negligent.

If having better security practices could have realistically prevented the criminal incident, a business might have some degree of legal and financial liability for what transpired. Particularly in scenarios where the authorities cannot locate the criminal or where they do not have adequate resources to compensate the victim, pursuing a negligence security claim could be a beneficial move for those harmed in a criminal scenario.