Blast From the Past

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Or "Door Staff" as they prefer to be called. Tough subject full of many different opinions.

Firstly, there is the subject of whether or not they should carry handcuffs. Info can be found here, here, here and here.

But do they take the law into their own hands?

I went to an incident once which was "male unconscious behind Club Boloxio"

Ah, probably had a bit too much to drink. Find the male, he is totally out of it, and covered in blood.
"Hmmmmm" I think to myself, this is not right.
The head "Door Man" comes out and tells me whats happened

"Ah, well, matey boy here was ejected by Phil, and just collapsed"

The manager is in the background keeping quiet. The door man then goes inside, and up comes the manager. I then ask where Phil is.

"Oh, hes inside, the paramedics are looking at him"

So whats happened then, really, whats happened then I ask.

"Well, Phil ejected this male and he went back to the front where he was let in again. He came in again, picked up a glass and smashed it round Phil's face"

Then what?

Well, it was pretty obvious. Phil's face is sliced open, two of his fellow bounder mates decide to eject this male via the back exit after kicking him in. They gave him a proper kicking even when the bloke was on the floor collapsed.

How do we know this?
What should over look the back but flats. Who should be looking out their windows, but several independent witnesses!

Oh dear oh dear.

Now, what if this person had been handcuffed and unable to defend themselves?

However, on the flip side I have been to one incident where someone was kicked out and was playing up, and a bouncer handcuffed him with speedcuffs. First time I had seen this happen but he "reassured us that he had taken a course to do this". Sent an e-mail to the licensing team about it anyway.

Also like to add that I know some doorstaff very well and they are very professional and make the "bad apples" not matter - and I am more than happy to deal with these ones in particular! A credit to their profession. Its not often that I come across door staff (as im not one of these sado's who just do friday/sat nights in town centre - yawn!) but came across one the other night who was superb! Even been out on a night out and he has been nice lol

So should door staff be issues with handcuffs? Almost as controversial as should PCSO's have them!


AntiSocialWatch said...

Personally I would say no to handcuffs for door men, absolutely no. There are too many incidents like the one you mentioned, some door men already think they're Steven Segal..( Ha, I wish)

Mark said...

Absolutely, definitely not!!!

Most bouncers are thugs and do not know how to handle a situation. To disperse trouble they generally remove the weaker party from the situation as they are often (in my experience) somewhat afraid to actually deal with those who are o the same level of physical ability as them. They are a farce already and the only way to escape their wrath is to simply keep your head down and be quiet. Nightclubs/Discos are like a seperate state with their own laws - set by the 'security' who are poorly trained and only know to challenge trouble violently.
If bouncers were allowed to carry cuffs I would certainly be too scared to drink in their establishment and risk their 'methods'.

I appreciate that not all 'door-staff' are bad but i am afraid there are too many out there that are simply mindless thugs.

PC South West said...

No way pedro!!
Most the door staff I know can't be trusted with a feather duster let alone a pair of ridged cuffs!
I spend a lot of time dealing with door staff, both on the street and in custody. Some are good and do a bloody good job in difficult situations. But there are those that enjoy the job far too much, these are the truly dangerous ones.
They seam to have this inability to let the remarks aimed at them by the drunken pratt just go over their head. They have the breaking strain of a kitkat when some gob shite starts to insult them.
Lets leave police work to police officers (and PCSO's as it is) and let the door staff do what they do.

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Thanks for your replies :)

A Door Supervisor said...

So if we have violent customer that needs restraining and the police can't be bothered to turn up for 30 minutes we are ment to restrain them taking up a DS, i think not, the handcuffs can be used professionaly and safely

they can be used to restrain someone and sit them in the security office until the police eventually turn up

richard said...

i am qualified to teach APR(arrest and plastic restraint) to anyone in the security industry.i think it a good idea that us door supervisors are allowed to use restraints when making a legal is us guys that have to deal on the front line with customers many times very violent whilst waiting for any amount of time for the police to arrive(if they do).so yeah cuffs are a greeat

richard said...

after reading your comments i see you still like to use the term'bouncers' how about door supervisors,some of us take offense to the term'bouncer'.sure if when mentioning the police i use the word'dirty pigs' you too would take offense.not all door supervisors are thugs infact i can't think of any i know who are,i know lots of very good door supervisors who night after night take the time and pride like i do to make sure our customers have a safe and enjoyable night out.i could go on and tell you about having to call the police one night to arrest a customer who glassed a young lad,the police arrived and refused to arrest the guy,they said they was no witnesses,well i saw it happen but my word was not good enough,but thats another story for another day.

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Richard - I very rarely use the term "Bouncer" myself, the word was used in a way not to cause offence ;)

Perhaps you could tell us more about APR and what it entails (obviously I dont know much about it due to being bogged down with diversity courses and other meaningless crap)

richard said...

The APRTM programme uses the "Key-Cuff" plastic restraints from the US. These are ideal for security operatives over here because they are light, easy to carry, easy to use, effective, relatively inexpensive, and they look less aggressive than the normal metal handcuffs that the police use. They also have the added advantage over the old-style 'plasticuffs' in that they have a lock on each strap, which means that they can be re-used time and time again, as opposed to having to be 'cut' off. The keys that open these restraints are exactly the same as the keys that the police use, so once you have arrested someone you can just hand them over the police still in restraints, safe in the knowledge that the police will be able to release the prisoner back at the police station using their own handcuff keys.

Fully certificated programme-

Certified by “Skills for Security” (, our new Government-supported sector skills body, this new 10-hour course has been specifically designed for anyone working within the private security industry who may have to effect an arrest during the course of their duties. Interest in this exciting new training has already been shown by door supervisors, store detectives, security officers, street/crime wardens, civil enforcement officers, bailiffs, close protection officers, event stewards and both court and prison escort staff.
The benefits of APRTM training-

Professional training in how to effect an arrest and in the use of plastic restraints will-

· Increase levels of safety for security operatives

· Reduce risk of harm to detainees

· Reduce risk of harm to the public

· Reduce risks of criminal allegations and civil claims against operatives

· Increase public confidence

· Increase security effectiveness

During the programme delegates are assessed on both the knowledge required

to act within the law, and on the safe application of the new plastic lockable restraints.
Fully insured product-

Following successful completion of the programme, delegates are issued with their own set of plastic restraints, key and belt holder. They also receive a year’s APR™ Protection Policy, which covers them for up to £25,000 for pursuing a claim for damages in respect of their own injury or death whilst effecting a lawful arrest, and up to £50,000 for legal defence against civil or criminal prosecution.

This is the only course of its kind in the UK that actually insures users as soon as they have completed the course.

Course contents include-

· The history of restraints

· Types of modern restraints

· Their use within the private security industry

· Rules/laws governing their use

· Powers of arrest (new powers under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act)

· The conflict resolution model

· The risks involved

· Practical application

Assessed by:- Knowledge and practical assessment

Nationwide training available-

FEDS Training use a team of regionally-based, sector-competent instructors to provide this training programme nationwide. This means that you can either attend one of our regional training days, or, if you can put a team together we can attend and provide the training in your area, at a location and at times to suit you.


Based on classes of 10 or more delegates, using your appointed training facility, this new one-day programme costs just £160 (including VAT) per delegate. This is the all-in price, which includes the course pre-read, the training, the equipment, the assessment, the certification and the 12month insurance cover.

Contact Richard MacRae for more details on tel: 077403-44427

or e-mail us at

Anonymous said...

I spent 12 years in the Job and never once came across a "good" Special Constable. They all whinged and whined constantly, and all they liked to do was to ride as observers in the Area Car and attend fights, where, enevitably, they were on the winning side.

Bouncers with speed different what so ever to Special Constables with speed cuffs, batons and CS.

If Specials and Community Officers were all binned today then the government would have no option other than to recuit a truely professional Police Service.

You just can't trust someone who wants to do a "proper Coppers" job for free.

I can't understand why this chap was doing all the questioning at the incident? Where was the PC or WPC? Whilst Specials do have full Police powers I never knew of one, in 12 years, who attended court.

So before you judge others on what they should be allowed to carry take a long long look at yourself and the other Specials around you!

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

lol, ok then anon @ 2:28. Not sure if I should laugh or not at your reply. I assume that these 12 years were, well, not recent! Times have changed.
12 years ago "bouncers" may have been thugs, now they are more professional (the vast majority!)
There are regular officers who you cant trust too.

As for taking a look at the specials around me, well, I have, and have commented about them before.

What happened to your diversity training? Were you not taught to judge people individually? Or do you tar all with the same brush?

As for the "You just can't trust someone who wants to do a "proper Coppers" job for free." perhaps its because they are making twice the amount of a regular officer and to join full time isnt financially an option? Or does this mean that they are too stuck up to join?

Ah cant be bothered to defend myself.

PC South West said...

Maybe we could issue some CS spray, and a batten also, what about a taser or a 9mm. Lines have to be drawn somewhere. I know there are good door staff out there, some are almost friends on mine. But the job is not regulated well enough for the issue of handcuffs.

As for the opinion of anonymous about ALL special being whingers and whiners. The specials I have the pleasure to work with do not moan and are a valuable asset a lot of the time. And they work for free.

Semper Fi said...

I've just read the comment by someone who doesn't have the balls to leave their information aka "anyonymous" bashing Specials.

Firstly, you obviously seem to have a problem which could easily be solved by taking a shit.

Secondly, Specials are nothing like the gorillas who wear suits and threaten patrons of clubs, they are a professional part time team of cops who do things I couldn't do for free.

They give up THEIR time to do it for nothing, to help us fight crime. I've been in the job longer than your 12 years, you obviously couldn't hack the job because you left after 12 years...

Bitter about them being able to do the job you left on motivation alone? I'll bet.

Bouncers with cuffs? No way.

Keep up the good writing, but ignore arseholes like "anyonymous".

Just William said...

Mark (at 0355 pm )said:
"Most bouncers are thugs..."
I say: That is simply not true, and indicates that you have a very limited recent exposure to non-institutional society.

PC South west (at 0645 pm) said:
"Most of the door staff I know can't be trusted with a feather duster"
I say: I know police officers who are exactly the same.

Anonymous (at 0228 pm) said: "I spent 12 years in the Job and never once came across a "good" Special Constable."
I say: When you left, it improved things no end.

Regarding use of handcuffs by door staff: these individuals are empowered to arrest, not least under section 24A of PACE.

Reasonable force may be used in making an arrest, in some circumstances handcuffs may well be reasonable. Any such use would have to be justified, but points to note are:
handcuffs are not offensive weapons, per se;
handcuffs are an effective control measure;
carrying of handcuffs is not illegal;

PC South West said...

Just William, I really do know some door staff who can't be trusted with a feather duster, I also know some who are good at their job.
Did you feel the need to have a pop at Police officers just to make your point. And what exactly is you do for a living?
Are you a Police officer?

kurt said...

so no detainee has ever come to any harm while in police custody let alone died while being restrained by the police. I am a firm believer that the police up hold the law they are not the law although most think they above it. Grow up people you would not do the job without your vest, asp, spray and cuffs.
What would your pals do if one of you got glassed?
Some doorstaff are able to carry cuffs and use them well and have more experience than a copper who gets minimal training once a year, for example ex cops and ex military cops, i carry cuffs on the door and use them to good effect it is perfectaly legal.

Just William said...

PC South West seems upset at my comments earlier, so I point out that a proper reading of both my entry, and also the entries to which I referred, will clearly indicate that no offence was intended either to him, or his colleagues.

In fact, if PC South West would read my entry carefully, he would see that I was being dismissive of a rather rude series of comments about Special Constables, made by Anonymous at 0228 pm (who claimed to have worked for 12 years as a Police officer).

PC South West: even if you still really think that I was having a pop at Police officers, I wasn't.

As to your asking what I do for a living, and whether I am a Police officer: if you could persuade me that it is properly relevant to my expression of opinion here, then I would tell you.

Just William said...

As for feather dusters, my wife doesn't trust me with one, either.

PC South West said...

Just William, I am sorry if I came across as hostile as it was not meant to be.
I just think people form an opinion of Police officers with no real grounds to their thinking and that is why I asked for your occupation. No offence intended, and I would never suggest that would be relevant to the expressing of your thoughts.

PC South West said...

Kurt, we managed for 180 years with no vest and for many years with no asp or spray.
I for one would not routinely wear my vest if not ordered to.
I and the idea that Police all think they are above the law is a joke.
I think the growing up needs to be done by you my friend.

kurt said...

pc south west, not routinly wearing a stab vest when one is available seems a little daft, i personally wear mine every time i work a door. I also carry my "keycuffs" which have only recently replaced my quick cuffs as they are lighter and easier to use.

The police officers i have come across are often surprised when they arrive to find a person already cuffed but are normally grateful of the help, especially when they are struggling to re-cuff them because they have once again become violent when released.

If door staff should not carry cuffs how do people suggest we safely detaine people for violent offences when we have very limited numbers to deal with the situations?

PC South West said...

Kurt, maybe you should try an 8 hour shift in on the hottest day of the year walking around some kind of family event, like an air show while wearing a stab vest with all the kit on.
Then you would not want to wear it routinely.
I heard a cast of a doorman or security guard being in possession of handcuffs. I can't remember why but he was not allowed to keep them for some reason. There was a reason for this but I am not sure. Will look into it and maybe post about it later. I am not saying that you are not capable of using them, just that some are not trustworthy.

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

I agree with PC South West about stabbies. During the summer, at a very large event I didnt wear my stabvest as it was too hot. We had officers who did, and ended up with sunstroke!

Anonymous said...

Handcuff, great idea. I work in a small town, and it can take the police anything up to 20 mins to respond to a call.
AS for the "smoe door men will abuse there use", yes they will but those doormen will be to rough any way, and wll loos there badge soon enough.
One thing people also forget when talking about the amount of force used by DS is that unlike police, we dont have CS spray, battons and the possibility of firearms / tazers / etc. That means if there is a weapon you have to use your hands to deal with it, and that means you WILL get cut unless you go in hard and fast.

Anonymous said...

Also, and sorry to seem lke Im having a go at every one but, "Extraspecialcopper" if you have a stab vest where it, you life isn't worth not doing so just coz your a wee bit hot. Sunstroke, look after yourself better. In Iraq we where much thicker boddy armor in hotter conditions for longer. Sunstroke is consider a self inflicted injury.

PC Bloggs said...

I am amazed at some of these comments. I especially love the guy who objects to the word "bouncers" preferring "door supervisors". He is of my own 21st century heart.

Rich said...

First things first, i am a doorman, so im hoping this wont sound too biased. Ive been 'working the doors' for around 5 years now, the idea of cuffs is a good one, to those who can be trusted. The company that i work for have adopted the stance of 'only supervisors' to carry cuffs, this mean there is generally one pair of cuffs in each venue. I work in an area where police response times are on average 40 mins. Which is a long time to restrain without cuffs. Im going to draw on a few highlights where cuffs are very useful to us 'bouncers' as a lot of people still like to call us. One night we had 3 doorstaff working the venue, a man vicously assualts a woman with a bottle, and runs. Two staff restrain him, meanwhile wilst in this restraint another man decides to attack us with a knife. So that left 1 doorman on his own to deal with the club, with cuffs it would have only used one DS. It is the way forward people. And as for anti stab vests, they are the best invention ever along with anti cut gloves, and yes i know how hot they get in the summer events, but i wouldnt go to work without them.

Security manager said...

I have a challenge to all you officers take of u belts an stand for 4 weeks on a 2 man door and in 4 weeks sit down and think about who should carry cuffs and you will have a different opinion you have a
Batton/CS Gas and cuffs and the law
we have nothing but buddys fear of police trying to get a quick arrest