London must be alert to security threats

30 June 2005
London must be alert to security threats

Leading London hoteliers are being warned to remain vigilant about the security threats facing their properties.

Although the Government has lowered the national security threat rating, MI5 maintains the possibility of terrorist attacks remains a real concern.

Several London hoteliers, who did not wish to be named, admitted that the nature of their business made them an easy target. Others stressed that unless properties turned themselves into security fortresses, no system would ever be foolproof.

Anthony Lee, general manager at the Connaught hotel admitted that, while hoteliers remained committed to minimising risks, "If someone is determined enough they can do these things - where there's a will there's a way. But you have to ask if anywhere really is safe. Security comes down to a great deal of common sense and structured discipline and procedures."

Staff are the key to combating the issue, because most security breaches are linked to employees. Security professionals warn that screening and thorough checks on staff before they begin work are vital in reducing risks.

The hiring of casual staff through agencies, as reported in Caterer last week has been highlighted as an especially vulnerable area. Hotels are advised to stick to reputable agencies, build up good relationships and monitor what security checks are conducted on potential workers.

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