Hotel crime has skyrocketed in recent years

These days, a hotel stay in New York comes with a mint on your pillow, some clean towels — and an occasional assault or robbery.

Crime in the city’s hotels and motels has soared by nearly 20 percent over the past three years, even as crime overall in the Big Apple has plunged, according to statistics compiled by an industry research group off NYPD data.

In 2017, there were 2,656 hotel crimes reported city-wide, compared to 2,223 in 2015, a 19.5-percent increase.

This includes felony assaults, which soared 51.9 percent, from 81 to 122, and third-degree assaults, which jumped 38 percent, from 255 to 352.

These incidents included three masked men pistol-whipping four workers at the Rodeway Inn on the Upper West Side in March 2016 and a construction executive being arrested a month later for assaulting an FBI informant at the Hudson Hotel in Midtown.

More On:
hotels

Rapper says he was shot at outside Midtown hotel

A dirty trick to smear Airbnb

Barcelona has never been better — or cheaper

These are the grossest spots in your hotel room

Second-degree harassment increased by 62.7 percent to 392 reported incidents.

The top overall hotel crime last year was grand larceny. There were 531 cases, a 12-percent jump over the 474 reported in 2015.

Hotel crime has been on the rise since 2011, when there were 1,826 incidents — 45.5 percent less than 2017.

Industry experts and the NYPD were at a loss to explain the spike in hotel crime.

NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie would only say that cops “will continue to work to reduce crime to new lows and work with hotels to ensure their safety.”

Mayor de Blasio’s office did not return messages seeking comment.

One possible explanation is that the total number of hotel rooms have increased in the city by 42 percent to 115,530 since 2010, according to Smith Travel Research.

However, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said the boom in hotel construction “is still no excuse” for crime at hotels continuing to rise.

The news of the overall increase in hotel crime comes after the city’s Department of Investigation ripped officials in January for not properly performing safety inspections on hotels where the homeless are housed.

DOI found that between January and August of last year criminal activity — particularly prostitution and assaults — was reported at 34 of the 57 hotels the Department of Homeless Services used to house homeless families with children.

“We should under no circumstances place families and children in situations where their safety is compromised,” said Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the general welfare committee.

“Unfortunately, with the shelter census being so high and the vacancy rate in shelters so low, we continue to rely on hotels, which are often not providing the level of security and wraparound services that families deserve,” added Levin, whose committee will be holding a hearing later this month to take a comprehensive look at DHS contracts.

Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for the Hotel Association of New York City, said, “The safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.”

She added that the trade organization’s hotel members have an “active partnership” with the Police Department to use “technology to thwart potential crime.”

Additional reporting by Amanda Woods

Article original

Related posts

Leave a Comment