The Caterer

Hospitality a magnet for criminals

31 May 2005
Hospitality a magnet for criminals

Hotel and catering companies are the number one target for criminals, according to new research from AXA Insurance.

A staggering 84% of hotel and catering companies surveyed reported they had suffered some form of criminal activity within the past five years, AXA said.

AXA's property insurance manager Neil Mercier said the main types of criminal activity affecting hospitality companies were theft, break-ins and damaged property such as smashed windows or graffiti.

"Simple steps such as adding locks to windows and doors and being clear about who is responsible for locking up areas of a hotel can make a huge difference," said Mercier. "CCTV is also not as expensive as you might think and an excellent deterrent."

Mercier warned people-facing industries such as hospitality were increasingly at risk from the country's growing compensation culture and should safeguard against situations where the public could be injured on the premises.

The second most afflicted industry was construction, where 74% had suffered at the hands of criminals. Retailers came third on 71%.

A total of 682,000 small firms said they had suffered crime in the past five years.

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