Most negligent security cases turn on the issue of foreseeability: Was the incident reasonably foreseeable by the owner or business?
One of the tools used to analyze foreseeability is the crime grid, which has been held admissible at trial, and involves obtaining from a police agency a record of the service calls for the area around the address of an incident.
In some states, the “prior similar” rule applies where a similar act must have occurred on the premises in the past for the subject to be foreseeable crime. In Florida, the courts look at the “totality of the circumstances” and evidence of prior crimes that occurred off the premises is relevant; a prior crime on the property is not necessary to prove foreseeability.
With one tourist allegedly shot while running back into her hotel, and a total of 1 death and 7 injuries in an area chock-full of touristy hotels and restaurants, businesses on South Beach should consider how the crime grid factor might affect them, as the debate continues about ending the annual revenue-boosting Urban Beach Week.
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