19 August, 2022 Hotel Attacks
There are five takeaways here. First, riots and brawls can have an inordinate impact on hotels because the violence happens in a confined space usually packed with people. Damages and casualties can be significant. Add alcohol consumption to this kind of scenario, and group violence can increase under circumstances where people naturally shirk individual responsibility and personal self-control and just “follow the crowd,” even into ultra-violent actions.
Second, although the extent of damages and injuries in this Wrexham hotel case is unknown, 200 wedding guests, two hours of fighting, the call for police reinforcements, and two injured police officers – even if superficial – suggest quite the dustup. Other injuries certainly occurred, and breakage/destruction of property was likely.
Third, the fact that the police visited the hotel because violence was expected might mean some kind of legal culpability for the hotel and possibly some sort of reprimand for the police. Why? There are two reasons (A and B).
A) It is highly likely the hotel was, at the very least, aware the police were on property investigating a potential threat. In situations like these, the police usually speak to the hotel manager, front desk staff, and/or hotel security as part of their standard operating procedures. As such, the hotel likely had some notice of possible violence, and if it did nothing to at least try to curb said potential violence, then the hotel might be vulnerable to legal action.
As an aside, it might have been hotel staff that called the police in the first place, which opens interesting culpability issues.
Sarah Prager, a travel law barrister at the London firm, 1 Chancery Lane, says the culpability of the hotel, in this case, is a “maybe.” For hotel culpability to come into play, says Prager, “The guest would have to show that the hotel was negligent – it did something, or failed to do something. I think a trial judge would have a lot of sympathy for the hotel and would give it quite a wide discretion, and a lot would depend on the nature of the suspicions” (strength of the threat/risk issue at hand.)
In the US, where such lawsuits are more common, the hotel would likely be facing a security negligence lawsuit if guests suffered substantial injuries.
B) If the police did not adequately investigate the threat warning, which might have resulted in an underestimation of the threat, then the department might be open to a reprimand.
It should be noted, however, that the Wrexham police force, according to all accounts seen by Muir Analytics, is a dedicated and professional force working diligently to keep its citizens safe and secure. The fact that two of its officers were injured during this hotel wedding brawl is a testament to their dedication.
Fourth, large gatherings and events at hotels – weddings, sporting events, conventions, big parties, etc. – demand extra security to prevent or curb the exact kind of chaos that happened at this Wrexham hotel. Muir Analytics has over 2,300 cases of violence in its SecureHotel Threat Portal database, many of which are at big hotel events involving 50-300 people. Police involvement in security planning for these events is always a plus.
Fifth, hotels hosting large events should ensure they have insurance for such brawls – the job of the hotel risk manager. They might be covered by general liabilities, business interruption, strikes/riots/civil commotion, or malicious damages. Or it could be a combination of these. A good broker specializing in hotels/commercial property and/or specialty violence coverages should be able to find the right policy. If possible, the policyholder might interface with the underwriter to ensure the policy has the proper verbiage. Policyholders then need to read the exclusions to ensure their coverage is not negated by nebulous language.
Hotel threat intelligence can help hotels plan for risk mitigation for riots such as the Wrexham wedding case.
Muir Analytics runs the world’s largest, most sophisticated hotel violence database – the SecureHotel Threat Portal – with over 2,330 hotel attacks (and growing.) We can provide the hospitality sector with intelligence that facilitates full-spectrum risk reduction, which helps hotels protect guests, staff, buildings, brands, and revenues. Contact us for a consultation: 1-833-DATA-444.
“Brawl breaks out at hotel wedding,” The Mirror, 5 August 2022.
“Wrexham police deal with group of “rowdy and thirsty” wedding guests and a series of incidents in town centre,” Wrexham.com, 4 August 2022.
“Wrexham: Police receive over 50 reports of incidents in 24 hours,” The Leader, 3 August 2022.
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