A critical element in establishing duty is the fact that the crime on the property was foreseeable. Important toward establishing foreseeability of harm criteria is a good expert on security and/or criminology who can review documents such as "crime grids," which delineate police calls to specific locations within a geographic area, and, particularly, identify "hot spots of criminal activity."
In particular, where a property is identified as being within a hot spot of criminal activity, most security experts will agree that enhanced security measures are necessary to protect patrons, residents, and other business invitees. Often, other witnesses, such as other tenants, former patrons, and former employees are excellent witnesses in identifying circumstances under which the landowner was placed upon notice that a dangerous condition, such as criminal activity, existed on or around the land, which would have appropriate security measures.
Additionally, in Florida, past police reports of criminal activity, which have been identified in the crime grids, can be admitted into evidence and discussed by the security expert or criminologist, and often provide powerful testimony about past crime on property that made future crime foreseeable . Even police officers, who have often been called out to a certain location that later formed the situs of a criminal action, can also provide strong evidence that crime on the property was foreseeable. Additionally, it may even be possible to provide testimony from a former victim of crime on the property.
Finally, in some circumstances, the criminal himself, if caught, can provide insight into the manner in which the property at issue became an easy target for predatory criminals such as him. Strangely, unlike the principal that "lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place," when it comes to criminal activity, it is well documented that premises that have been victimized in the past are far more likely to be victimized again in the future unless corrective security measures have been taken.
To learn more about the foreseeability of harm in negligent security cases, please contact the Florida legal experts at Corless Barfield Trial Group at 877-517-5595.