Shopping center parking lots present inherent security challenges as they frequently occupy a large space with low levels of activity and numerous hiding places for would-be attackers. A recent rash of strip mall violence across the country gives rise to questions of patron safety and security. What are shopping center owners doing to protect their patrons and deter crime?
In October, The News-Press reports, four people were killed and others were injured during two separate Fort Myers shopping center parking lot shootings within two days.
A woman was shot and killed “in the parking lot of a Point Loma Heights shopping center” on October 9th, per San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
“Three people were killed and another person was wounded in a shooting in the parking lot of a North Las Vegas strip mall,” on October 14th, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Victims of Parking Facility Violence: Know Your Rights
Shopping center patrons have a right to feel safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment they are visiting, both inside a business and outside in the parking lot. By law, property owners are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. For example, should a shopping center owner have knowledge of prior violence on or near property, they have a responsibility to implement additional security precautions to protect patrons and deter such crime. Should a strip mall owner fail in this critical responsibility, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries, sexual assaults or wrongful deaths which occur as a consequence.
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