London hoteliers face riot threat

25 April 2001
London hoteliers face riot threat
Hoteliers in London are preparing to batten down the hatches to protect their premises against anti-capitalist demonstrations on 1 May. Bill Fairweather, chairman of the Institute of Hotel Security Management and director of security for Forte, said that hoteliers had met twice to discuss contingency measures and he was receiving advice from the police. Activists have used the Monopoly board game to guide protesters to destinations such as the Strand, Park Lane and Mayfair. Oxford Street has been designated the centre for the protest in mid-afternoon, but it is where protestors go next that is unknown and causing concern. Security at hotels is likely to be beefed up by two to three times with outside firms being brought in to provide protection. Some hotels with window panes worth up to £10,000 each will board up their windows to prevent damage. The demonstrators' guide on the Internet was reported to list the Savoy hotel on the Strand with the comment, "Where rich and famous scum stay". A spokeswoman for the Savoy said: "The safety of our guests and employees is paramount and we are keeping them informed and are in close consultation with the police." On Park Lane a spokeswoman for the Dorchester said: "We have made security arrangements for 1 May for both staff and guests, but will not comment on details at this time." Hilton, which has nine hotel in London, said: "All our central London hotels could be potentially affected on 1 May and our general managers are undertaking a series of measures to protect the safety of our staff and guests."
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