The scheme encourages the reporting and the sharing of information and intelligence between hotels and the police. It also provides hotel staff with training so that they are able to identify vulnerable or criminal situations which helps to improve response time to crimes against vulnerable people within hotels such as CSE, human trafficking and drug related crime. Hotel Watch also promotes partnership working with local businesses in order to identify risk and improve safety in the community.

The aims of the scheme are to:

  • Increase the prevention and detection of hospitality related crime
  • Create and support an information sharing platform between hotels and the police
  • Identify and minimise potential crime trends
  • Promote a safer working environment
  • Provide another way to help locate missing people and protect vulnerable individuals
  • Offer hotel staff awareness training to enable them to better identify vulnerable individuals or criminal situations
  • Share examples of past criminal activity and tips to encourage staff to report at the earliest sign that something may be wrong
  • Encourage local crime prevention initiatives that may develop as a result of working together with the police

What are the benefits of the scheme?

  • A dedicated Hotel Watch co-ordinator with links to your local policing team
  • Opportunities to organise/attend events to support your staff and business, plus regular meetings where you can meet other Hotel Watch members in your area
  • Promotional material for your premises showing that you are a member of a police supported initiative
  • Messages from Devon and Cornwall Alert (early information regarding crimes or suspicious behaviour)
  • Advice on how to report suspicious activity
  • Provision of regular hotel related crime information in your area

For more information about Hotel Watch contact your local policing team.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

CSE is a form of child abuse and is illegal.
Possible signs to look out for:

  • Young people with significantly older boyfriends/girlfriends/associates
  • A young person who appears withdrawn/terrified/controlled or tries to hide their face, or has bruises or similar injuries
  • Multiple older visitors to a room at regular intervals
  • Rooms used by young people with a lot of condoms/condom wrappers, drugs/drug paraphernalia
  • Young people not seeming to know their exact location

You maybe able to stop this from happening, please:

  • Ask for ID of guests who appear to be under the age of 25 – both in the licensed area and when delivering alcohol to rooms
  • Report anything suspicious to the police

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is the exploitation of people and can take many forms.
Possible signs of victims:

  • Physical appearance – malnourished, unkempt or appear withdrawn and neglected; there may be untreated injuries
  • Isolation – rarely allowed to travel on their own or interact; seem under the control or influence of others; appear unfamiliar with their location; lack identification documents
  • Few or no personal possessions, always wearing the same clothes
  • Unusual travel times – dropped off / collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night
  • Reluctance to seek help – avoid eye contact and appear vague; hesitant to talk and fearful of law enforcers; they may be accompanied by someone else who speaks for them

Pop-up Brothels

Hotel rooms and B&Bs are often used as locations to meet and pay for sex.
Sex workers using hotels will usually:

  • Work singly or in pairs from one room
  • Have frequent visitors who only stay for a short period of time
  • Have visible signs of their trade in the room – used condoms, packets of condoms, lubricants etc.
  • Be acting under duress and could be victims of Modern Slavery

Car registration numbers are particularly useful in police enquiries.
Please ask staff to record registrations of any vehicles used by suspected sex workers or individuals involved with them.

Missing People (MISPERS)

People go ‘missing’ for many reasons including personal choice, mental health issues or to escape.
They may:

  • Avoid eye contact and appear vague, hesitant to talk and fearful of law enforcers
  • Lack identification documents and have few personal possessions
  • Be distraught, not wishing to engage in conversation
  • Decline offers of assistance – have no means of travel
  • Be vulnerable

Please ask staff to note down a full description and report this to the police, preferably before the person moves on.

Drug Dealing

Hotels and B&Bs can be used by drug dealing networks which run across various counties:

  • Groups working these networks tend to be gang related
  • Guests might have multiple mobiles with extra SIM cards, make cash payments and use a hired vehicle
  • Younger more vulnerable people may be under their control, given tasks to do (as runners) and have little or no money themselves
  • Drug dealers normally operate from two or more premises at any one time

The effects of drug abuse cause harm to individuals, businesses and communities.

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