All businesses should take a proactive and serious interest in creating a safe environment on their premises. But that doesn’t always happen.
Some businesses owners, particularly small businesses, do not report crimes against their establishments. This may be due to pessimism (the guilty party will never be found, so what’s the point) or fear (this will waste time and money, or negatively impact the business’s reputation).
A lack of confidence in law enforcement or just plain apathy may also factor into a business owner’s decision to not pursue a matter further.
Letting crime go unchecked, however, has consequences for employees, customers, and tenants.
A lack of reporting means police do not allocate enough resources to specific areas. It also allows the offender to repeat their crime at the same place or somewhere close by.
Employees who feel safe are more productive and engaged while at work. Instead of worrying about each person who walks through the door, they are more focused on their jobs and providing services.
There are many ways to create a safe environment. It is up to owners to understand their security weaknesses and take appropriate measures:
- Install security cameras, panic buttons, and/or a security gate.
- Keep records of visitors and your storefront clean and attractive (messiness sends the message that you don’t care).
- Have visible lights and alarm systems.
- Install locks and time locks on doors (create layers of security both outside and inside a building).
- Ensure all areas your patrons frequent are well-lit and visible.
- Greet people when they enter your establishment (this tells a person they are noticed).
- Form a relationship and communication procedures with local law enforcement and other businesses in the area.
- Watch for red flags, such as a suspicious vehicle visiting at odd hours multiple times or a person following a customer or tenant out into the parking lot.
Get a crime prevention plan in place and ensure your employees are aware of and understand proper security procedures. Put up signs that announce security features like cameras so that customers and tenants know the area is monitored.
Georgia law requires owners of property and businesses to protect their customers and tenants from unreasonable dangers. These individuals and companies are required to take minimum steps to learn of dangerous conditions and to correct these dangers so their customers and tenants who lease these apartments are not hurt.
But when businesses do not take reasonable steps to correct the unsafe condition or if someone is seriously injured or killed, there is a potential claim for inadequate security.