We know that business traveller safety is a top priority. Capita Travel and Events works in partnership with the police and supports safety on the move through its Traveller First Programme. Here, Sergeant Craig McMahon shares his security advice.
1. Be vigilant
If you see anything suspicious, report it immediately to the venue, or to the police. And remember that travellers are more at risk at Christmas or during the summer events season, when thieves can easily blend into parties attended by non-residents.
2. Avoid leaving your luggage out of sight while you check in to a hotel
Thieves will take advantage of a busy lobby while you are concentrating on the check-in procedure. Leave your name and home address off bags, too. For ensured safety, use a work address or mobile number on them to avoid alerting thieves to the fact that your home might be empty.
3. Be careful about calls claiming to be from reception
Never give credit card information out over the phone if asked to confirm your details once you’ve checked in. A hotel would never ask this – but fraudsters do.
4. Keep your room number private
Ask hotel receptionists to write down your room number, rather than say it aloud. Burglars have been known to walk by and observe room numbers in order to make false charges in a hotel bar or restaurant – or attempt to break in to a room. For this safety concern, don’t leave your key fob or card on the table beside you in public areas.
5. Avoid staying on the ground floor
Hotels with doors and windows that open to the outside are more of a safety risk in terms of theft. UK hotels have first-class fire regulations so there’s no issue in staying on higher floors. When overseas, always check the fire and evacuation regulations, and your escape route, on arrival.
6. Inform reception if you are expecting a guest
Leave the name of the guest with reception (write it down), and don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know during your stay. If an individual says they are a hotel employee, you can always phone reception and check whether they are genuine. Use your door chain as an extra safety measure, if there is one.
7. Large items? Leave them with security
If the room safety deposit box has a keypad, I always use it. If a laptop or other device won’t fit in the safe, hotel security might take care of larger valuables in their own safe.
8. Be cautious when using WiFi hotspots while out and about
Criminals actively phish for information in less protected hotspot areas, so guard your personal and financial information and avoid doing any internet banking.
9. Use a transport company with a reputation for business traveller safety
It is not always possible to pre-book transport when business travel is last-minute. Check your company policy for approved transport providers before you travel.
10. If a crime happens, report it immediately
Many hotels have excellent policies and insurance in place for traveller safety and security. If there is an incident, report it straight away and they should help you. Never travel without a personal insurance policy though – you need appropriate cover at all times.
Want to know more? Contact your Capita Travel and Events team