Preventing crime in hotels and conference centers

Are you all set to leave for your conference that has been set up in a remote hotel? Are you under the impression that a couple of relaxed days at the conference center will reboot you physically and mentally?

That is a fine thought and it is possible that you may be right and nothing untoward may happen. But, what you must know is that hotels attract criminals and most of the criminal activity goes unnoticed by guests. The following information will help you stay alert during your stay, and of course, have a good time.

Crime in Hotels

Hotels, right since their inception when they were called Inns, have always attracted criminals. Guests are mugged outside the hotel, they are threatened near their rooms, cars are stolen, burglaries occur, and more. Some guests are even attacked or raped inside the premises and violent crimes inside hotels are increasing. One reason could be because the number of women business travelers is increasing. Prostitution, drug-dealing, etc., too is common. According to USA Today, the economic recession is the primary reason for the increase in hotel crime.

Hotel crime works by killing the hotel’s brand value. It can even make a hotel bankrupt. Travelers and conference organizers simply avoid crime-impacted hotels, which then have to lower their rates and invest in crime fighting measures. This is a double blow for hotels mainly because the economic recession made them cut down on security measures in the first place, and now the reduced security is driving away customers and lowering their prices.

How Hotels and Conference Centers Can Prevent Crime

  1. The environmental design of the hotel should be altered in such a way that it prevents criminal activity. Most hotel crimes occur in the dark and therefore if other design changes are not possible, the hotel should increase the lighting inside and outside the hotel to eliminate potential hiding places.
  2. Traffic control measures should be initiated. Adequate security should monitor entry, exit and parking areas.
  3. A video monitoring system must be installed that covers all common areas, or at least the registration area. Criminals inside the hotel or near it must know that they are being watched.
  4. The latest and the best security systems, software and alarms must be installed. Criminals should know that the hotel is hotwired to the local police HQ.
  5. The rooms must be well maintained and signs of vandalism such as graffiti must be cleaned.
  6. The hotel must advertise or otherwise communicate about its security measures.
  7. Strict house rules must be formulated and followed. Cheating employees should be fired to set an example.
  8. A crime prevention expert must be hired to go into the micro details. Also, rules laid down by the state must be complied with.

To Sum Up

Hotels will attract criminals, no matter what. It is the hotel’s responsibility to ensure that it implements adequate security measures so that it can be known as a crime-free hotel. This will enhance its brand value and bring in additional business.

  • Jacob P. Thomas is a blogger from Newark, PA who prefers to find the most secure conference venues through www.empowerMint.com – a free resource for event planners in the US.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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