Bournemouth hoteliers invited to Hotel Watch launch

17 February 2017
Hotel Watch has been operating in the town and surrounding areas since 2015 but will be formally launched at the beginning of March.

Hotel Watch is a joint initiative between Dorset Police and the hotel community in Bournemouth to share information, intelligence and reduce crime.

In 2015, officers from the Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team approached a group of hotels who had been sharing information via email. Dorset Police joined the group and set up a dedicated email network for hotels to submit intelligence and officers to distribute appeals for information, as well as prevention advice and incident updates.

The intelligence sharing scheme has resulted in a number of positive results, and the group is looking to formalise and expand, beginning with launch events 7 – 8 March.

The launches are open to all owners, managers and employees from hotels and bed and breakfasts from across the Bournemouth area.

In order to cater for businesses across the area, two events will be held. The first will take place on Tuesday 7 March 2017 from 2 – 5pm at the Cumberland Hotel Eastcliff. Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan will be in attendance.

The second event will be held at the Hallmark Hotel, Westcliff on Wednesday 8 March. It will run from 11 am – 2pm and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill will attend.

Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “It is vital that we work with local businesses to enhance our understanding of crime trends, gather intelligence and ultimately protect the people that live in and visit our communities.

“The Hotel Watch scheme has already assisted with a number of investigations. I would encourage all businesses in the area to register and I hope to see the initiative expand in the near future.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear inputs from Dorset Police on a number of issues including how to protect their businesses against cyber-crime and how they can work with police to reduce crime that takes place in, or has a significant impact on their industry. This includes spotting the signs and effectively sharing intelligence related to the use and sale of drugs, child sexual exploitation and aiding with missing person appeals.

There will be time for questions with the officers in attendance, as well as time for hoteliers to network with their colleagues across the local area. Businesses who wish to can then register with the scheme and will receive a Hotel Watch window sticker to display in their property.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill added: “Watch schemes are a hugely valuable resource for police.

“The sort of intelligence shared by hotels can help the Force respond quickly to situations where vulnerable people may be at risk and to reduce crime. It is important we strengthen the relationship between police and local business to ensure our county remains a safe place for people to stay.”

The event is free, but there are a limited number of spaces, so attendees will need to register in advance. Hoteliers should register their interest by emailing hotelwatch@dorset.pnn.police.uk by Monday 27 February 2017.

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