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Negligent security poses risks at New Jersey malls, stores

Thanksgiving weekend, together with the much-anticipated Black Friday sales, is in the history books. However, as Christmas draws near, New Jersey residents are still expected to pack New Jersey's many shopping malls and stores. While it is a time for holiday cheer, according to the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association it is also the time when retail crime increases.

In a poll conducted by the National Retail Federation, 94 percent of respondents were victimized by shoplifters. A retail security consultant stated recently that shoppers should stay alert when walking in mall parking lots because robberies as well as shoplifting incidences will triple during the holiday season. The consultant, who is also a retired police officer, recommended that shoppers walk in pairs and park in well-lit spaces. He also advised stores to assign security to patrol both inside and outside the store. Mall and individual store owners are very much aware of the increased business that holiday shopping brings and they are also required by law to ensure customer safety. Negligent security will increase not only the chances of a robbery, but injuries to consumers as well. Consumers may also be harassed or assaulted by criminals because of inadequate security.

In addition to the lack of security, faulty mall equipment and improperly maintained facilities can also dampen a consumer's holiday cheer by leading to accidents that can easily result in injuries. If a Newark resident is injured or loses property due to mall, store owner or management negligence, the consumer can respond with a premises liability lawsuit. This legal action can hold a negligent party responsible while offering a victim compensation for the damages incurred.

Source: Nj.com, "Mall, Stores, Bolster Security During Holiday Season," Stacy Jones, Nov. 28, 2013

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