Hotel / Motel properties present a unique challenge to law enforcement. Although their primary function is to house guests for a specific limited-time period, individuals who may not be able to qualify for an apartment may decide to rent a room for an extended period of time. This poses a potential problem for the properties. In many instances, the presence of extended-stay guests can be directly correlated to criminal activity both on the property and within the surrounding communities.
The immediate question that hotel / motel managers should ask themselves is why these individuals would not be able to qualify for an apartment? Why are they so willing to pay a price far above that of an apartment to live in accommodations that may be more confining. In some instances, these occupants have a greater desire for mobility due to their criminal involvements or activities.
Although renting these rooms gives the property a higher occupancy rate, it is usually at the expense of additional criminal activity on the property. This makes the property less desirable for legitimate, law-abiding guests. It has also increased frustrations for both property owners and the Police Department as calls for service continue to increase. Numerous arrests involving guests off property have been made by police officers, without bringing them to the attention of the hotels or motels.
For additional information on the costs of criminal activity on hotels / motels and the response of the Crime Free Hotel / Motel Program, please read Costs and Response.