Shopping malls may not bring the kind of traffic they did a few decades ago. However, some mall owners are shifting their thinking in light of online shopping. More restaurants and entertainment businesses are taking the place of clothing and shoe stores.
Nevertheless, malls are still places where young people can gather to meet their friends and shoppers can see in person the items they want to buy. Malls are also places where the criminal element will come. The reason is simple. Malls provide a pool of potential victims in a vulnerable situation. In other words, there is plenty of opportunity to commit a crime.
If you have been a patron of local malls, you may take for granted that you are safe. You may follow the advice of law enforcement to remain alert and lock your vehicle, but it may surprise you how vulnerable you will still be to a robbery or assault, according to a recent study from Scandinavia. Because malls have similar layouts around the world, analysts say you can apply the following Scandinavian findings to the Atlanta shopping centers you visit most:
- More than half of the crimes occurring in malls involve public disturbances or property damage.
- About 16% of the crimes are violent, such as assaults or abductions.
- About 64% of the crimes happen in the open, usually in designated areas, such as a food court, main corridor or entrance.
- Most mall crimes occur between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- You are far more likely to become the victim of a violent crime on a weekend at the mall than during the week.
- April and November are the months in which malls seem to have the highest rate of crime, along with July and October.
Because studies show that these are the times and places when you are most likely to become the victim of a violent crime at a shopping mall, it may seem reasonable to expect the mall where you shop to provide adequate security measures to keep shoppers safe.
If you have been the victim of an assault or other violent crime at a mall, you may have many questions about the management’s liability, especially if the mall is no stranger to crimes. Reaching out to a Georgia attorney may help you find the answers to your questions.