NEWS

A Clear View of Liability

By D. Anthony Nichter, CPP

Broken. Having a surveillance system that is in disrepair or nonfunctional is the next most costly deficiency. This can oc­cur when management decides not to maintain existing funding for staffing and system maintenance. The problem can be exacerbated when cameras are targeted by criminals.

An example of this occurred at a casino parking garage. A local gang had all but taken over the upper level of the garage, claiming it as their turf by destroying the surveillance cameras and defacing the walls with graffiti. When the casino repaired the cameras and painted over the graffiti, the gang destroyed the cameras and tagged the site again. This went on un­til the casino senior management tired of the cost and decided to stop repairs. One day, a patron who had parked on the upper level was brutally battered by gang members and suffered extensive injuries. Because the cameras were not operational, surveillance did not see the attack. The jury returned a substantial judgment against the casino that far outweighed the cost of continuing repairs and maintaining constant patrols.

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