A training course teaching doorstaff to use handcuffs has been launched, reputedly for the first time in Britain.
However, doorstaff regulator the Security Industry Authority (SIA) has advised against supervisors using handcuffs.
We don't endorse the use of handcuffs. People can claim they were used unlawfully and it could lead to accusations of assault.
Spokeswoman for the SIA.
Doorstaff will learn how to use plastic handcuffs in the Arrest and Plastic Restraint (APR) training courses.
Course designer and former police officer Andy Walker said there is no law against handcuffs being used by civilians in certain circumstances.
He pointed to the Criminal Law Act 1967, which says anyone can use reasonable force to prevent crime, assist in the arrest of an offender, and avert imminent danger.
The "Key-Cuff" handcuffs used in the APR course are opened using the same keys that police carry, so doorstaff will not have to release offenders themselves.
Walker said: "Doormen, store detectives and security officers are facing threats and actual physical violence on a daily basis in some areas, particularly when they have to make arrests.
"Our new course will help those people to make those arrests safely, protecting themselves and the public from harm."
Bar Entertainment & Dance Association executive director Paul Smith said: "If the training is being done by decent-quality, trained individuals, we wouldn't have a problem with the principle [of doorstaff using handcuffs]."
But a spokeswoman for the SIA said: "We don't endorse the use of handcuffs. People can claim they were used unlawfully and it could lead to accusations of assault."
Courses are run by local security firms across the UK.
The one-day courses cost £160, which includes equipment, assessment, and insurance for 12 months.
For more information see www.fedstraining.co.uk
Gypsy Dowley via email 17/10/2006
"Comment:I am a front line door supervisor who has carried handcuffs for 12 months now. My training was to ACPO guide lines and needs refreshing annually for court credibility at a cost to myself of almost £200.
In 12 months I have had to use them 3 times twice to assist Police offiers in effecting a lawful arrests of offenders and once because we had detained a violent offender prone on the ground for 20 minutes whilst waiting for Police to attend.
I feared for the offenders safety through positional asphyxiation and for the doorstaffs safety as after 20 minutes members of the general public were trying to release the offeder by punching and kicking doorstaff.
Our local force although not condoning the use of handcuffs have verified our training and originally warned us of possible charge for inappropriate use I feel after 12 months that those us that carry them and use them have proved that they are meant as a deterrent more than anything and as a last resort where every other avenue has been tried."