Booking a holiday and finding a place to stay can be difficult enough at the best of times. It’s not enough just to see if there is a gym, a swimming pool and good restaurants and other amenities but to also consider if the accommodation is a safe haven and not managed, run or staffed by inappropriate personnel.
An example of the risk can be seen from the recent conviction of an ex-Army intelligence officer and Manchester hotelier, for a second time for abusing children at his £2m B&B. Saleem targeted children after they checked into his hotel with their parents near Manchester Airport. He had been previously jailed in October 2018 after attacking two sisters aged four and eight. He has been jailed again after a nine year old girl made a complaint following his first sentence. Saleem said his conviction was ‘unjust and tyrannical’.
Elsewhere in the North of England, Scott-Michael, a convicted sex offender posed as a policeman to get a job in a hotel.
Wider concern has been raised about security in the context of rental apartments such as those available via Airbnb. Airbnb has been sued by users of properties rented through it; one law firm in America specifically advertises itself as specialist in representing victims which have been abused in such a scenario. Airbnb is seeking to tackle this issue, along with others, by establishing what it calls “community standards” which include “You should not commit physical or sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, domestic violence, robbery, human trafficking, other acts of violence, or hold anyone against their will.”
Jagdeep Hayre, Partner, BLM