May 14, 2012
The dilemma for hotels is that they are open to the general public at all times, they are places of hospitality but this summer security needs to be stepped up and visible.
Security staff need to be visible and whilst there is a balance to be kept between vigilance and allowing bona-fide guests to enjoy their stay, it is in guests’ interests to ensure that they and their property are protected.
Invisible security is not a deterrent. Official venues like the Olympic Stadium and transport hubs such as airports and railway stations will have heightened security presence; hotels & restaurants are – and always have been – soft targets and attacks on hotels & restaurants across the world have brought widespread publicity over the years.
Staff should be made aware of the need to be extra vigilant in the lead up to and during the Games. Some hotels are adopting a completely different ID system for staff and visitors during the Games (so that ex-employees cannot use old ID, badges or pass them on to others for example). Without upsetting guests you should adopt a “challenge culture” especially back of house. Hold some training sessions to increase alertness – look out for suspicious people, packages, vehicles etc.
Hotels & restaurants should have up-to-date crisis plans and test them.
- Sign up to Neighbourhood Link in order to receive updates on security issues in your postcode area. www.neighbourhoodlink.met.police.uk
- Use the Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool on the National Counter Terrorism Service website www.nactso.gov.uk.
- Visit the website www.cpni.gov.uk where you will find some very useful guides into preparing staff and protecting your business against all kinds of threats including terrorism. www.cpni.gov.uk/threats/terrorism/
The BHA Recommend the following:
Staff and visitors should wear identification badges.
Underground and under-croft car parking is particularly vulnerable as “vehicle borne improvised explosive devices” could be used with devastating results.
Meetings and conference rooms not in use should be locked. All store rooms must be locked.
Increased signage warning guests of the need to take care of their possessions to be used during the Games period.
Office staff in hotels should also adopt a greater level of security:
- CCTV systems should be serviced and working – maintenance should not be left until just before the Games.
- Front of house staff in particular must be more vigilant and ensure guests do not leave unattended items or baggage.
- Staff should know how to deal with suspected prostitutes and ticket touts as hotels areobvious gathering places.