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Criminal activity in parking lots has always been a problem, and the potential cost for this kind of crime is rising for owners, managers, and other responsible parties in parking lots where any crime occurs. Crime victims are increasingly seeking compensation in court in what are referred to as premises liability cases. In a report for the National Institute of Justice, Corey L. Gordon (lawyer) and William Brill (safety consultant) describe two main reasons for the rise in premises liability cases. Due to factors such as the victim rights movement, crime victims are more likely to seek restitution.
Courts in most jurisdictions are more willing to allow testimony on theories about the relationship between criminal activity and the management and design of facilities such as parking lots.
An effective parking lot crime prevention program requires a comprehensive plan with active security measures and CPTED concepts (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). According to parking consultant Mary S. Smith, lighting is at the top of the list of CPTED components for an effective parking lot crime prevention program.
"Lighting is universally considered to be the most important security feature in a parking facility. Good lighting deters crime and produces a more secure atmosphere. It is one of the few facility features that has been documented to reduce crime in parking facilities."
Improved parking lot lighting can help minimize your liability from possible parking lot crime. People who use your parking lot (customers, employees, etc.) will appreciate the increased sense of security. Design, installation and maintenance capabilities are required to have an effective lighting system. If you do not have these capabilities in-house, consider outsourcing this responsibility to a company such as Globus Electric that specializes in this very important area of safety.