Recently a woman at the Scores Gentlemen’s Club in Palm Beach Gardens was robbed at gunpoint and told to hand over her diamond ring. Is this a random act or are we seeing a new pattern of violent crime? According to Robert Smith, a San Diego consultant who specializes in nightclub crime, “”The violence in nightclubs and bars across the country has increased dramatically.”
A 2012 Palm Beach Post article stated that in 2011, there were at least nine instances of gunfire in or around South Florida nightclubs, more than twice the number of the year before. In the past decade, 20 lives, nearly all young people, were snuffed out by nightclub-related gunplay. During that period, Broward County experienced the highest number of gun fatalities: 13, including one suicide. At least 42 people in South Florida were injured by stray bullets since 2002, some seriously. Since 2002, only five people – four in Broward, one in Palm Beach County – have been killed in nightclub stabbings.
There are many risk factors contributing to aggression and violence in bars and clubs including: underage drinking, binge drinking, impaired or inebriated drinking, serving drunk patrons, discounted drink prices, overcrowding, drug use and/or dealing, prostitution, the type of establishment, bar closing times, the lack of adequate security, and untrained or improperly trained staff.
An article published by Witherspoon Security Consulting on Premises Liability – Hospitality (Bars, Nightclubs and their Associated Facilities) found that some establishments have a history of fights or violence. These taverns or clubs are often the ones that cater to a younger, more risk prone crowd. Trendy nightclubs, especially on weekends, may have long lines of young persons eager to get into the current “hot spot”. Some bars and nightclubs located near colleges and universities attract young (and frequently underage) people, who often engage in “binge drinking” or other dangerous behavior.
Land and business owners have a legal duty to provide safe premises for their patrons, tenants and guests both inside the establishments and outside in parking lots. This includes protecting them from harm caused by criminal conduct when that conduct is foreseeable.
When property/business owners fail to provide adequate security measures, people are put at greater risk for criminal attack which can cause serious personal injury or wrongful death. Often, the victims of violent crime are innocent bystanders. Some common types of violent crimes that can occur at nightclubs, strip clubs, dance clubs, social clubs, and bars include robberies, rapes, shootings, stabbings, assaults and even murder.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of violent crime on commercial premises, contact a Miami, Florida premises security lawyer at Hannon Legal Group.