From October 25 2004, all door supervisors in the South East will be able to apply for a licence, a process which will involve an identity and criminal background check plus attending a nationally-recognised training course.
The new licence, issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), will become mandatory from February 28 2005, after which it will be a criminal offence to work as a door supervisor in the South East without one.
The licence will apply to Essex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex, Befordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Kent. It will not apply to Greater London.
The SIA door supervisor licence is being introduced region by region across England and Wales. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were the first areas to be licensed, and from April 2005 it will be illegal to work as a door supervisor anywhere in England and Wales without a licence.
During the past 20 years the night-time economy has grown dramatically and estimates indicate there are currently 95,000 door supervisors employed in pubs, clubs and bars in England and Wales.