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How poor hotel security procedures can lead to thefts, assaults

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Premises Liability

Do you ever get a little nervous about the security when you’re staying in a hotel? If you do, the odds are high that you’re willing to pay more for a “better” hotel that seems safer.

Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. Various news reports and investigations have detected an alarming trend: hotels are becoming a frequent target for both rapists and thieves. Guests in even upscale hotels around the nation are being assaulted and robbed at alarming rates – and the hotels’ owners and managers may be largely at fault.

How is a hotel’s management at fault for criminal activity?

Criminals are, largely, opportunists. When a target is difficult or there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be caught, most criminals will simply move onto an easier mark. Unfortunately, many hotels are making things way too easy for them. Consider the following:

  • Unsecured entry points: Doors to the outside that don’t lock, electronic keys that can be easily duplicated and an overall lack of monitoring at entry points around the hotel can allow people to slip into the hotel without being noticed.
  • Inadequate surveillance systems: Many hotels still rely on outdated or insufficient surveillance systems, leaving blind spots that criminals can exploit. Poorly lit areas in hallways, parking garages and specialty areas (like the pool or gym) of the hotel also provide a lot of cover for criminal activity.
  • Untrained staff members: There have been incidents reported in the press of hotel desk clerks giving out copies of room keys to people who ask for them – without checking IDs or verifying that the person asking for access actually belongs there.
  • Poor hiring practices: In some cases, the criminals have been lurking amongst the hotel’s staff. When background checks are not done and managers are lax about checking up on their employees, it provides even more opportunity for criminals to act.

Hotels have an obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe for their guests. That means more than just making sure the rooms are clean; it also means making sure that buildings and a property’s grounds are secure. When guests are assaulted, robbed and injured in what they perceive to be a safe space, their lives may never be the same again – and that’s a valid reason to find out more about their legal options.