Hotel staff undergo training to spot sex traffickers

HRM 10 Jan 2013

Hotel employees in Minnesota can now undergo a newly established training course to spot potential underage sex trafficking.

The course aims to help employees identify tell-tale signs of fishy business, such as repeated refusal of housekeeping services, or an older man checking in with a younger girl who looks dishevelled or frightened, reported local daily Star Tribune.

Juvenile sex trafficking is a widespread issue in Minnesota. The ease of calling up a juvenile to a hotel room is likened to “order(ing) a pizza”, Minneapolis police sergeant Greg Reinhardt was quoted as saying in the report.

Launched by Hennepin County and the city in conjunction with the Minnesota Lodging Association, the training programme is the first of its kind in Minneapolis.

With their knowledge of human behaviour and expertise knowledge of happenings in the hotel, hotel staff are well equipped to sense when something does not seem right, said course trainer and Minneapolis police sergeant Grant Snyder, in the report.

Dan McElroy, president of the trade group Hospitality Minnesota, said that hotel staff are told to report anything seemingly suspicious.  The hotel management then can contact investigators and take appropriate action.  "We have to build their confidence," he said of the staff.

More training sessions are expected to come as a part of the movement to bring attention to juvenile sex trafficking.



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