One in five bouncers leave the industry

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Almost 90,000 job losses since the start of the pandemic: One in five bouncers have left the security industry (Credit: Getty/ iunderhill)
Almost 90,000 job losses since the start of the pandemic: One in five bouncers have left the security industry (Credit: Getty/ iunderhill)

Related tags Health and safety Security industry London Late night

One in five bouncers have left the security industry and staff levels were at 80% compared to pre coronavirus levels, a City Hall report into London’s night-time economy has found.

This comes after three out of four adults wanted improved safety measures in pubs, bars, and nightclubs as a significant number felt less safe on licensed premises then, in comparison to March 2020, according to a YouGov survey in October 2021.

Professional Security chief operating officer Jason Thorndycraft said: “The general public and operators now really see the value security brings as part of keeping them safe on a night out and see it as an asset vs. a barrier to entry.

“Our teams are very much seen as an extension of the venue team and we are very passionate about our teams understanding the priorities and values of the business they are working in.”

License requirement 

For some licensees, like Luke Mcloughlin of the Spread Eagle in Homerton, Hackney, London, having security officers is part of the license and the pub operates with security officers from 10pm – 1am on Fridays and 10pm – 2am on Saturdays.

According to Mcloughlin, door staff cost around £15 per hour but having someone there to oversee safety makes everyone in the pub, including bar staff, feel much safer.

Mcloughlin said: “It makes people feel safe, most people go out to have a good time and not cause trouble, it's just an added layer of security.

“If you see somebody with an arm band on and a high vis jacket, you know people will be dealt with if they are misbehaving.”

However, Mcloughlin also noted he had struggled more recently to get staff on the doors, despite working with the same security company for the past four years.

Keeping everybody safe

More recently, in comparison to pre coronavirus and Brexit levels, 70% of the time Mcloughlin has been left to call on bar staff with door licenses to work security.

The Night-time Industries Association estimated almost 90,000 jobs had been lost in the UK’s night-time cultural economy (which includes security workers) since the pandemic began.

Warwickshire based security officer John Byrne, who has been in the business for over 20 years, said: “The more door staff you have, the more they can go around and look for any trouble about to commence and try and nip it in the bud before it actually gets going.

“Some people might not like it, but if they don’t like it, they've obviously got something to hide; it's not just about keeping the door staff safe, it’s about keeping everybody in the pub safe.”

Related topics Professional Services & Utilities

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