Pub and club goers from Skipton to Sunderland will be in safer hands from Monday 6th September, with the launch of a new national licensing scheme for door staff in Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire.
The new licence, issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), will require all door supervisors in the North East to undergo an identity and criminal background check. Door staff will also have to attend training and reach a set professional standard.
Training will cover key areas of door supervision such as conflict management, emergency procedures and drug awareness.
From 13 December 2004 it will be a criminal offence to work as a door supervisor in the North East without an SIA licence. The licence is being introduced region by region across England and Wales, and from April 2005 it will be illegal to work anywhere in England and Wales without one.
During the past 20 years the number of door supervisors has grown dramatically with the boom in the night-time economy. Estimates indicate there are currently 95,000 door supervisors employed in pubs, clubs and bars in England and Wales.
The new licence is designed to rid the ‘bouncer’ industry of its criminal and violent elements. SIA chairman Peter Hermitage said: “It’s vital people feel safe when they go out to bars, pubs and clubs.
“Unfortunately the industry as a whole has suffered because of a small minority who give it a bad name. The new licence will protect the public from these untrained and unsuitable operators.”