In SECURITY: By Design And Decree security expert witness Robert A. Gardner, CPP, writes on security ordinances:
Establishing liability depends in large part on the foreseeability of a specific kind of criminal attack and the amount of control the negligent party exercised over the circumstances and conditions under which the crime occurred. By citing the standards prescribed in Building Security Codes, it may be possible to demonstrate that a minimum level of security is always necessary. This is true even when no specific crime threat has been identified. The pervasive nature of crime in America presents an undeniable threat to virtually everyone. While the exact time and circumstances of criminal attacks cannot usually be predicted, it may be reasonable to forecast that a particular type of crime will occur at a given location within a definable time period.
Security Codes and Environmental Design Standards impose a duty on property developers, owners and managers to provide at least a minimum level of protection for those who enter and occupy their properties. The protective measures required will vary with the type and use of the property. But, in every instance, there will be basic preventative measures identified to address the kinds of crime that can be reasonably expected to occur. If adequate consideration has not been given to security, and/or applicable security codes have not been followed, then the stage is set for a claim of negligence should a criminal attack take place.