Hotel watch


Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association

What is Hotel Watch

Hotel Watch is a scheme that has been set up in many towns and cities across the country which sees police and hotel partners sharing information.

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.

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  • A young person who appears withdrawn/terrified/controlled or tries to hide their face, or has bruises or similar injuries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  • Physical appearance – malnourished, unkempt or appear withdrawn and neglected; there may be untreated injuries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

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.

Remember, if you suspect a crime is taking place – preserve evidence.  Do not move items; if people have left the room, do not let anyone go into the room until the police arrive or instruct you otherwise.

If you see anything suspicious please report it

To report a non-emergency crime please use the Online crime reporting form.

(If life is threatened ring 999, or if you are Deaf/hard of hearing/speech impaired use SMS/Text 999 or Minicom/Textphone 18000).

Or please email 101, or call us on 101 (or if you are Deaf/hard of hearing/speech impaired use SMS/Text 67101 or Minicom/Textphone 18001 101)

Or contact your local policing team

Or contact Crimestoppers to report anonymously - 0800 555 111

Or call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline: 0800 789321

Call 999 emergency – where life is threatened, people are injured, Offenders/victims are nearby or if immediate action is required.

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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