Ensuring hotel staff know what action to take when they suspect perpetrators of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) are using their premises to commit offences has been the focus of an operation by the Metropolitan Police Service to raise awareness and safeguard children.
Over the last week, officers have been attending hotels across London to test their response to a scenario which would be expected to raise alarm bells and prompt proactive action by staff.
Venues – many of which have previously received training under Operation Makesafe; a training package offering guidance to hotel managers around how to spot the signs of CSE and mitigate risks – were visited by plain-clothed officers in the company of young police cadets.
Attempts were made by the officer to book a room. Often they had large amounts of alcohol on show and tried to pay for the room in cash, refusing to offer any identification.
The hope was that staff working on reception at the venue would recognise the warning signs, refuse to rent out the room, and contact police. Referencing ‘Makesafe’ during the call alerts call handlers to the CSE element and officers will be sent to the scene.