Hotel and guest house staff could be asked to prove that their customers have a legitimate relationships with any children staying with them – in a bid to tackle grooming and the sexual exploitation of children.
The suggestion of Tory MP Kris Hopkins followed a damning report by the Home Affairs Select Committee, which criticised the way sexual exploitation is being dealt with in Rotherham.
Police and council chiefs were accused of being ‘inexcusably slow’ at recognising and reacting to the scale of the problem of gangs of men grooming youngsters for sex.
MPs also criticised the lack of prosecutions there have been in South Yorkshire.
Speaking after the publication of the report, Kris Hopkins, who represents Keighley, said there had been numerous child sexual exploitation cases where hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses had been used by paedophiles to take children they had groomed.
He said the police should be given powers to impose orders on certain hotels and B&Bs which were known locations for paedophiles.
Landlords and hoteliers would be forced to carry out checks on adults checking in with children and hand over information to police.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hopkins said: “I am asking the Home Office to consider introducing this to the Bill – a new police power to require specific hotels or B&Bs to collect the details of identity and proof of relationship of any persons under the age of 18 who book into an accommodation.”
Labour MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “I think at the moment the anecdotal evidence and the evidence of people who see with their own eyes that there is a problem is not sufficient to catch these terrible perpetrators of these horrific crimes.
“I think if we had legislation that would help the situation enormously.”
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “You have made a very important point about the relevance of these places to what is happening in terms of child sexual exploitation and we are certainly happy to look at the proposal.”