Swedish hotel gives staff prostitution awareness lessons

Scandic Hotels staff trained to be more vigilant


Prostitution in a city - night prostitute talking to potential customer

A hotel in Sweden is hoping to reduce the chances of prostitutes working in its establishments by offering their staff training to bring the issue to light.

Scandic Hotels, which owns hotels in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium and Poland as well as Sweden, will be educating all its staff working in Swedish hotels.

During the training sessions, staff will be shown videos that will highlight key signs they should look out for in order to identify those planning to buy or sell sex in the hotel, according to Swedish news site The Local.

Management at the hotel are keen to highlight that they do not want individual guests being singled out and hunted down; instead they want their staff to be able to pick up on signs that may indicate this type of activity is taking place and contact the authorities accordingly.

This new training comes as part of an initiative introduced by the Swedish government, in alliance with the country's police.

In 1999, Sweden was the first country in the world to criminalise the act of paying for sex, although the act of selling sex remains legal. In a similar move, Northern Ireland will change its laws in June this year to criminalise buying sex. According to The Local, the number of prostitutes in Sweden had almost halved by 2010 thanks to these new regulations.

In the UK, prostitution is legal, although there are a string of related activities, such as kerb crawling, which are not. The Telegraph reports that in other European countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, prostitution is legal as long as it takes place in regulated premises where the workers are licensed. I

Regarding Scandic's decision to train their staff in this area, the Chief Inspector of Stockholm's police prostitution division, Simon Häggström, advised Swedish broadcaster, SVT, that any hotel staff who suspects guests of soliciting or selling sex should call the police immediately.

You know you've booked the wrong hotel when...

You know you've booked the wrong hotel when...

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