New York bill arms hotel maids with a ‘panic button’

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 18:30 EDT
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NEW YORK — Hotel maids should be given panic buttons to guard against the kind of sexual assault former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly made on a woman cleaning his room, a New York lawmaker said Tuesday.

Assemblyman Rory Lancman, in the New York state legislature, told AFP that his bill proposes arming hotel staff with a portable device connected to a central security official.

The bill “requires all the hotels and motels in New York to have a panic alert system where every hotel worker who regularly enters hotel rooms is given a button, a device with a button, and you push the button and it notifies hotel management of an emergency,” he said.

Lancman, a Democrat, said the device would protect the mostly female staff cleaning hotel rooms when they are at their most vulnerable.

“When you consider these women, primarily women, are in hotel rooms with strange men and they don’t have security, it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Strauss-Kahn denies accusations that he forced a maid into a sex act in his luxury suite at a Sofitel hotel in Manhattan on May 14. He is on bail awaiting his next court hearing on June 6.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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