British hotel security stepped up in the wake of Mumbai

January 21st, 2009 - 4:13 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 21 (IANS) Security is being stepped up in hotels across Britain in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, British Home Minister Jacqui Smith said.She told a meeting of the British parliamentary home affairs committee Tuesday that hotels have been issued security guidance and the staff given training.

Earlier, committee chair Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP, said he had seen “quite serious searches” being carried out in Mumbai during a recent visit to the city.

“Yet when I went to a hotel on Park Lane (Monday), there were no such searches. Does it worry you that in those areas that might be subject to terrorist attack, those private sector organisations are not really prepared?” he asked Smith.

“We have had pictures of the January sales where hundreds, thousands of people were going to some of our biggest shops in Oxford Street. Is it not a worry to you that there are no searches going on?”

The home minister said: “I think the Mumbai attacks… have caused us to consider the protective security arrangements that we have in place. A lot of detailed work has been and will go on in relation to that.”

But she said not all of the security measures “are instantly visible to people when they are out shopping or in hotels”.

“We have taken the opportunity of the review that we have done to accelerate the publication of protective security guidance to both hotels and hotel security professionals and giving them the best advice.

“We have a network of counter-terrorism security advisers who are able to supplement that advice by actually visiting specific venues and delivering training,” she added.

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