Join Oxford City Hotel Watch

Oxford City Hotel Watch logo Oxford City Hotel Watch was launched in March 2016 by Thames Valley Police, Oxford City Council and hoteliers to improve our response to child safeguarding concerns. 

The scheme has grown since its launch and now includes more than 80 hotels, guest houses, bed & breakfasts, and short-let establishments. Its aim is to share concerns and intelligence between hoteliers, the police and Council. 

The Hotel Watch scheme focuses on educating staff to recognise signs of exploitation, including child sexual exploitation (CSE) and modern slavery, and to take appropriate actions if suspicious activities are observed. This has proven very successful, and in one such case lead to a vulnerable person being located and safeguarding arrangements put in place.

Since its launch, hoteliers have also used this platform to raise concerns of other crimes affecting their businesses, such as card fraud and failing to pay for the room. 

Events are put on that cover key issues for the industry who work with statutory authorities to make Oxford a safer city.

How to join the scheme

If you are interested in joining Oxford City Hotel Watch or want to learn more, please email

"Oxford Hotel watch is a partnership between Hotels, Police and the City Council to promote public safety and safeguard our customers. I think that by working actively with the Hotel Watch Committee we can discuss initiatives & best practices which are practical and workable for the hotels whilst at the same time meeting all the requirements of the Police and City Council.

"I think it’s a win-win situation which hopefully makes Oxford and its hotels safer for everyone, guests and staff. Oxford is a fantastic place to live and a very vibrant and interesting place to visit."  

Oxford hotelier and member of the Oxford City Hotel Watch Working Group

Advice for hoteliers

Keeping children and vulnerable individuals safe is the responsibility of everyone in every community. That’s what safeguarding is about.

Staff in the hospitality industry are in daily contact with children and adults across Oxford, but sadly some of them may be at risk of being hurt or exploited.

Hotel Watch members want to do all they can to help stop vulnerable people being taken advantage of through forced labour, sexual exploitation, trafficking and other types of abuse. 

Hoteliers have a key role in identifying those that need our help and to identify the people who commit these terrible crimes. 

No one should have to live with the threat of abuse, violence, sexual exploitation or trafficking.  If we all work together, we stand a better chance of putting a stop to it.

How you can help

You can protect children and vulnerable people from being abused, trafficked or exploited by:

  • encouraging staff engagement and inquiry with guests to detect potential issues
  • adhere to fire regulations and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 by ensuring all guests and visitors are properly register at reception
  • document concerns in an incident log, including physical description, card details, vehicle registration numbers and time of arrival/departure, and retain CCTV footage
  • conduct regular patrols and room checks
  • appoint a staff member as the point of contact for reporting suspicious activities to the police
  • implement an In-house Safeguarding Policy
  • have a reporting process for housekeeping and subcontractors to log any concerns observed during their duties
  • verify credit card details used for bookings
  • ascertain the relationship between minors and accompanying adults
  • ensure bookings and registrations are completed by adults and request identification if necessary

Report your concerns

If you observe concerning activities in your premises, speak to your supervisor or contact Thames Valley Police:

  • call 999 in emergencies where immediate danger is present
  • call 101 for non-emergency concerns about a child or vulnerable person
  • contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
  • reach out to the Oxfordshire Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0845 050 7666

Test purchase operations

Police and the Council conduct regular test purchase operations to assess the response of hotel staff to potential safeguarding situations.

These operations involve an officer in plain clothes visiting a number of hotels, guest houses and B&Bs across the city, and trying to book a double room, accompanied by a 14 year-old girl without identification. 

To pass the test, staff and managers should refuse the booking and contact the police.

Oxford hoteliers have proven themselves to understand the ethos of the scheme, and complied with training and safeguarding requirements.

Training and resources for hoteliers

Various organisations offer training and resources to support hoteliers in safeguarding efforts:

Informative film clips on YouTube

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