Collins fears poaching' chaos

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A huge wave of doorstaff poaching is set to hit pubs and clubs if police decide to prosecute unlicensed doorstaff immediately after the Security...

A huge wave of doorstaff poaching is set to hit pubs and clubs if police decide to prosecute unlicensed doorstaff immediately after the Security Industry Authority deadline passes.

Jon Collins, chief executive of the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA), voiced his concern that police prosecutions after the 11 April deadline for London could spell disaster for the industry.

"It could trigger a huge wave of poaching," he said. "As soonas the deadline passes, clubs could find their SIA licensed staff being offered an extra £2, £3 or £4 an hour to work down the road."

Only last week, the SIA warned that pubs and clubs in the south-east may be forcedto shut because not enough doorstaff had applied for a licence.

She added: "We are relying on the police to use discretion and a certain amount of good will. The message to police is please continue to accept those that have done the training and have an SIA application number. Otherwise there could be chaos."

Collins last week met with senior SIA officials, including chief executive John Saunders, in an attempt to iron out a few problems.

One issue that continues to baffle both Collins and the SIA is the huge disparity of people attending training courses and then failing to follow it through by submitting an application form. "The training is not cheap, especially for what is a second job to some people," said Collins. "Why are they not following it through? Maybe they don't think it will be enforced."

At the meeting, the SIA resolved to provide all training centres with bulk application packs so tutors can assist applicants in filling out forms and cut down on the number of mistakes being made.

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