Staying in a hotel or motel is a big part of going on trips or enjoying time with family and friends for most people. Unfortunately, it’s also a big part of the crime trends that are currently on the rise throughout the country. What this means is that there is a large number of crimes occurring within hotel and motel rooms. However, it does not necessarily mean a crime against the person who is staying in the room. It could also mean a crime perpetrated by the people staying in the hotel room.
Hotel And Motel Crime Statistics
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, during the four-year span from 2004 to 2008, there was a total of 7, 840 violent victimizations that occurred in hotel or motel rooms. This represents a total of less than 0.1% of all violent victimizations that occurred during that same time period. In regards to this statistic, the Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a ‘violent victimization’ as:
- Rape/Sexual Assault
- Aggravated/Simple Assault
The same Bureau has also cataloged property crimes that have occurred in hotels and motels and found that these locales have the lowest prevalence of these types of crimes out of all areas that have been evaluated. Evaluated areas included personal homes and dwellings, attached buildings and vacation homes. The total number of recorded property crimes during the same period was 45,910, a total of approximately 0.3% of all property crimes reported within the same time period. A property crime is considered:
- Household Burglary
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Property Theft
Understanding The Statistics
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, there are approximately 4,978,705 guestrooms across 53,432 properties in the United States. These rooms generate a total of 4.8 million people staying in a hotel or motel room on any given night. Based on these numbers, the chances of being a victim of a crime while staying in a hotel or motel room are actually quite slim.
The chances are slim when the number of persons staying in a room on any given night compared to the number of crimes reported above in any given year. This is not, however, to say that these are the only crimes that may befall an individual who is residing in a hotel or motel room.
Beyond The Statistics
When evaluating these statistics we must look at a number of factors as well. Though these statistics only evaluate crimes that have occurred against the individual staying in the hotel or motel, other crimes do occur against the hotel owners. This may mean damage that is done to the hotel itself either intentionally or unintentionally by those staying at the hotel. It may also mean damage done to the hotel by those committing violent or property crimes on the occupants.
It is important to look at the types of crimes that are not considered as well. For example, murder is not included in the statistics found related to violent victimization. This does not mean that murder does not occur in these areas, but that it is not recorded for the purposes of this reporting. Likewise, crimes associated with unfavorable behavior such as prostitution or drunkenness are not included when considering either the violent or property crimes mentioned above. These types of crimes happen more commonly, however many are not reported, not recorded or otherwise ignored.
Victims Of Hotel And Motel Crimes
Those who do find themselves victims of crimes within a hotel or motel need to know that there are places to turn and there are definitely ways to be made whole again, at least in the legal and monetary sense. The most important thing is making sure that you do whatever you can to keep yourself and your family safe while staying in hotels and motels.
Keep in mind that the odds are in your favor and if you are watchful of the world around you and also ensure that you are doing what you can to be proactive- you will have a better chance of keeping your family safe.