Security and safety has always been big issue for hotels as poor security would expose guests to crime risks and has the potential to damage reputation and goodwill. Despite its underlying importance traditionally security at a hotel has been limited to peripheral guarding and monitoring entry and exit points.
This situation however changed drastically post 26 /11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The heightened security awareness is also reflected in the demand from corporations and tour operators who are now seeking details of hotel’s security and safety measures in their annual request for tender programmes.
Such has become the demand for security among customers today that hoteliers are now starting to consider security as any other service provided by hotel. They are making provisions in their budget to invest in security to implement a comprehensive security solution consisting of guarding along with external and internal patrolling and setting-up of a discreet and un-breachable control stations. Bollards and under vehicle scanning systems which were unseen before are now being installed by hotels at the entry of all leading hotels in India and are monitored by highly trained and skilled crew. Hoteliers have also brought entire hotel premises under CCTV camera surveillance which is monitored from control rooms.
Despite the measure taken by hotels to instill sense of security among guests, it is often difficult to balance the need for effective security measures against the expectations and needs of the customers. It is also a challenge for hoteliers to have more stringent security procedures that do not impact the guest experience which has become an important ingredient for hotels in India. They need guards who not only fully gel with the ethos of the hotel but are also trained to use the equipment effectively, while retaining the welcoming ambience of the hotel. To ensure the same security crew at the gate are trained in a manner so that they do not alarm guests while doing security checks. Stops are set in place at entry points of hotels with escalation matrix keeping in mind the hospitality experience that the guest must experience when entering the property.
Drawing on the extensive knowledge and understanding of the hotel industry’s evolving security needs and through constantly listening to customer’s feedback, G4S has developed a specialized training programme which prepares security personnel to deliver on the new challenge facing the hotel security. The security personnel are handpicked and have specialized skills to excel in the hotel environment. The programme uses latest technology including videos and live demonstrations to train the security staff. The training tools help to impart more frequent and effective on job training, resulting in better on-site delivery of services. During training, mock-up situations are created where the guards are taken through how to diffuse the situation. Some of the safety equipment that are used in hotels and are operated and monitored by G4S personnel include locks, safes, security boxes and doors, surveillance cameras, CCTV, burglar/fire alarms, entry/exit screening systems, outdoor perimet er protection sensors, wireless equipment/technology, installation tools, supplies and accessories, fire extinguishers and rescue devices.
G4S’s Hotel Security Solution is supported by a management team dedicated to hotel business, for excellent operations management and quicker turnaround of customer’s concerns. In order to provide integrated solutions, the company is also in the process of offering specialized security & surveillance training to their hotel facility solutions staff. Trained in basic first aid procedures, its professionals offer round the clock services. The personnel is trained to get familiarized with operations of the hotel, clientele and terminologies used in the hotel with a lot of focus on handling of guests. All personnel thoroughly screened and registered with the police. The company has 24×7 control rooms and Quick Response Teams across the country apart from the largest pool of management professionals. This is supported by expertise in international and local security environment, compliance with mandatory, legal and statutory obligations, expertise on risk analysis and threat assessment, expertise on integrated security design & delivery of customized services, stringent recruitment procedures through background checks.