A Hotel Watch scheme, launched by the West Sussex Missing Person’s Team, will establish an information sharing platform with hotels across Sussex to help identify and help vulnerable people.
The Hotel Watch scheme will allow members to share relevant messages quickly and to ensure staff in this service industry are able to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, so they can pass their concerns on to police, the spokesperson said.
The dedicated Missing Person’s Team deals with missing people, absentees and child sexual exploitation cases across the county.
Working with an established multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH), it helps identify and protect those who repeatedly run away or go missing, a spokesperson said.
Inspector Roy Hodder, who leads the Missing Person’s Team, said: “Watch schemes are an important resource for police.
“The valuable information shared by hotels can help us respond quickly to situations where vulnerable people may be at risk and also 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.
“Receptionists, managers and housekeepers can also be in a unique position to notice when someone or something seems suspicious or all may not be right with guests; young guests in particular.
“By hotels passing their concerns on to the police, they could potentially save a child from the nightmare of child sexual exploitation. “Sometimes that’s all it takes, a little piece of information can help us build the bigger picture.”
The Hotel Watch scheme encourages hotels to sign up to the Sussex Police ‘In the Know’ messaging system, which will allow officers to send targeted messages out to them.
Find out more information on child sexual exploitation and how to spot the signs here
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