SHOOTINGS, ROBBERIES, AND ASSAULTS
Business owners have a responsibility to know whether their tenants, guests, or customers are safe, and to protect them from shootings, robberies, and other violent crimes. To assess the safety of the property, there are several steps that business owners can take. A business can appoint a safety manager to monitor crime, order a “crime grid” from the local police agency, interview tenants and employees, or speak with adjoining landowners. If the owner doesn’t know what’s happening on his or her own property, then the owner is putting his tenants, guests, or customers at risk.
Business owners have a duty to act as soon as they become aware of a threat. There are several ways in which a business owner can address a threat on commercial premises:
- Provide security measures (see below for examples) to protect customers who are not aware of the threat.
- Close the business until the threat has passed.
- Issue a warning to people who could be harmed.
Unfortunately, some business owners ignore their duty. Whether they ignore the risks they know about because they hope the risks will go away or because they’re more interested in profit than safety, business owners can be held accountable for their failure to act. If you were injured as a result of a business owner’s failure to act—whether it was a shooting, a robbery, a sexual assault, a rape, or some other violent crime—you may be able to file a negligent security claim against the owner.