What are the most common crimes in hotels? Not theft, UK police say

New data shows that ‘violence against another person’ is by far the most common criminal offense reported in UK hotels.

Statistics from eight police forces across the UK show there were 4,589 allegations of violence and 1,307 allegations of public disorder – which often involve intimidation or threats of violence. – In hotels, motels and guesthouses from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.

That’s over 3,999 reports including theft, theft, and burglary.

There were 1,206 reports of arson and criminal damage, and 1,107 reports of rape and other sexual crimes. Several cases of modern slavery (three) and murder or attempted murder (three) were also reported during this period.

The numbers came from Freedom of Information requests, seen by CNBC, to the 10 largest police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Police services in Bristol and Scotland declined to provide data, according to a summary of findings seen by CNBC.

crime magnet

Brian Moore, COO of Global Secure Accreditation, a hotel security consultancy, told CNBC that hotels are “crime magnets.”

“You have big buildings full of people who are usually in a country or region they don’t know, so they are a fish out of water. There might be a language barrier, they are usually relaxed and they need to be on their guard,” said Moore, a former senior police officer who oversaw the London Olympics in his capacity as director general of a force British border.

For example, travelers often leave their belongings in hotel bars and restaurants while they are talking to people, he said.

“But given that these are public places, it’s no different than leaving something on the bus,” Moore said.

When asked about the UK numbers, Moore said: “I think most people would be surprised by the scale of crime because the UK is relatively safe. Hotels pride themselves on being safe and secure, and a lot of people think they are.”

Alcohol is often the cause of violent incidents.

Brian Moore

Operations Manager, GS Accreditation

In his experience, the majority of violent crimes occur between people who know each other – although this can include people who have met at a hotel – while “possession crimes” such as fraud, theft, theft and burglary tend to be committed against strangers.

“With violent incidents, alcohol is often the cause,” Moore added. “Hotels are places where people tend to drink excessively, often at the times when there is minimal staffing and security. Staff can break up gatherings but drinking can continue again in guest rooms.”

How do you keep yourself safe

Hotels need to ensure that only people who have a legitimate need have access to them, according to Moore.

Elevators and room corridors should only be accessed by electric pass and have good CCTV coverage. He points out that small hotels, which may not be able to provide these things, are not necessarily more dangerous, as long as they can distinguish guests from non-guests.

Hotel guests should store valuables in room safes, and be careful when using the hotel’s Wi-Fi.

Boy_anupong | moment | Getty Images

It’s challenging to secure public spaces while maintaining a welcoming environment, Moore said. But he said an employee who approaches someone who looks suspicious, even if only with a friendly word, can deter a potential thief or fraudster.

Guests can improve security by:

  • Ensure that room doors have automatic closing mechanisms and double locking
  • Bring or order a door wedge to add an extra layer of security
  • Use the room safe and monitor valuables in public places
  • Don’t say their room number out loud; This prevents anyone from approaching the front desk and trying to get a key by pretending to know the guest.

Use of hotel Wi-Fi

Lee Whiteing, commercial director at Global Secure Accreditation, said hotel Wi-Fi is a notorious target for scammers.

Whiting said guests should avoid making transactions, entering passwords or opening secure information while connected to her. He added that those using VPNs, or virtual private networks, should not have access to sensitive material before logging in.

Hotel guests should also make sure they are connected to the hotel network and not a fake network of the same name.

bleaching To do a software test in different hotels to see if anyone would try to access his team’s laptops. In the extreme case, he said, a laptop was attacked 600 times in 24 hours.

Business travelers

Whiting, the former global head of travel at HSBC, told CNBC that there is a growing awareness that companies need to increase employee safety when it comes to business travel. He also said that companies can be held liable if they fail to reduce certain risks.

The ISO NGO, which includes 167 national standards bodies, recently released a paper outlining threats, risks and prevention strategies that companies can use to manage business trips.

“Historically, residence checks have not always been well done,” Whiting said. “If a company sends a safety checklist to a hotel, there isn’t much to check for the answers they have given.”

But he said the employer has a duty of care when sending workers abroad or to another city.

Independent examinations must be conducted.

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