Your Security Is Our Business

Bouncers Exposed Do they really keep us Safe

Bouncers operate in such a lawless environment that they seem to be able to get away with anything even demanding to see people s facebook profiles on their phones before letting them in.

It s 3am: the clubbers are slowly filtering out and drunkenly making their way to the kebab shops and taxi ranks. Girls are supporting their friends, all wearing sky-scrapers and walking like newborn Bambi; others have just given up and pad barefoot. From the chasm of the club, bouncers appear with foaming mouths and faces contorted into wild, werewolf-esque snarls.

Behind them, being dragged, is a drunk, pleading twenty-something who gets unceremoniously dumped on the floor. They pounce on their prey. Through the thuds of the steel toe caps and the fists, the wails of mercy are drowned by the homeward-bound revellers. No one looks; no one cares.

Scene from a film?

No, it s just Prince of Wales Road most nights of the week.

Brutal bouncers taking the law into their own hands is nothing new. In fact, in 2003, BBC News reported that a gang of thugs , some of which some were bouncers, hunted down and violently murdered an innocent man in his own home in a case of mistaken identity. The BBC also stated that there were numerous examples of bouncers using excessive violence on customers , and with the horrific murder acting as the final straw, it is now illegal to be a bouncer without a license from the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

But, even with the licensing now in place, it doesn t take long to find someone who can vouch that this lawless environment is still happening.

Ask a student if they ve seen door staff acting inappropriately on a night out, the answer is usually, Yes. Many have been the victims of the violent mauling, and most have been on the receiving end of verbal abuse which can only stem from those harbouring an attitude of self-importance. It almost makes you wonder why you bothered paying the entrance fee, only to be punched, kicked and dragged around by your ankles.

Oh, of course, it s because it s the only club that any of your friends go to this year. You ve got no choice, unless you want to stay at home, alone in your pyjamas, watching 4oD and feeling like a social outcast.

It s not just UEA students that are experiencing the problems with bouncers either. BBC Three s Britain Unzipped (Episode 3) features Emily Atack (Charlotte Hinchcliffe in The Inbetweeners) and Adam Deacon (Jay in Kidulthood) talking frankly about their experiences.

On the topic of bouncers, Atack admitted she regularly has problems with bouncers on a power trip who are just deliberately arseholes . Deacon interjected, I hate them. It s like they go to a special school or something, just to be a prick . Yes, Mr.

Deacon, they do indeed attend 30 hours of training via SIA approved companies. But this highlights that it s not just us lowly masses that have problems with bouncers, celebs do too.

It was only last week that BBC Newsbeat revealed emerging stories about club go-ers who felt their private lives were being interrogated after bouncers demanded to see their Facebook profile on their phones to verify their identity. Shouldn t having a valid form of ID be enough?

We re not trying to get through passport control here, we only want to get into the same club as our friends!

What s most frightening however, is our acceptance of this kind of lawlessness. We bow down to bouncers because we accept their elevated authority, which in fact, is completely self-created, and then upheld by us.

In Newsbeat s article, the director of Akira Training states that all staff approved by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) are taught about the law and human rights and would know it was wrong to demand to see Facebook profiles. If the behaviour we witness on nights out is anything to go by, the law and human rights is obviously something that s low on their agenda.

Realistically though, we all know people who get a little lairy after a few jagerbombs, but the line between dealing with the drunks and brute physical force seems to be especially blurry.

This doesn t mean to say that there aren t idiots on nights out who need throwing out of clubs; nor does it suggest that all door staff are heavy-handed thugs who enjoy lawlessly attacking people.

We need bouncers to keep us safe, otherwise clubs would become anarchy. But really, does their job warrant the power trip of self-importance? And where is the line drawn between taking authority in situations where it s needed, and physically and verbally attacking customers?

The desperate need to assert themselves as superior seems more important than actually keeping us safe.

Legally, bouncers, are trained in conflict management and physical intervention , which means if they abuse their state of privilege they could lose their license.

But with the complication of whether to report incidents to the police, the local authority or the club, people don t know who should be told.

It almost seems like we expect door staff to be lawless thugs, so reporting an incident isn t worth it.

And what can you do when they say you were drunk, disorderly and aggressive, so they acted accordingly?

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK, AND OF ANY STORIES YOU HAVE ABOUT BOUNCERS IN THE COMMENTS.

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Bouncers Exposed Do they really keep us Safe

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