- Saturday, 16
proof vests, pepper spray for security
- Bouncers are
demanding stab-proof vests and pepper sprays because their
job is as dangerous as police work.
companies employed at pubs and clubs across Perth have told
The Sunday Times that door staff are facing increased
violence from alcohol and amphetamine-fuelled patrons, and
have few ways of guarding against attacks.
PROTECTION: Security staff want more to protect
officer, who worked as a doorman for more than a decade,
said bouncers had become targets for "boofheads who want a
fight" and they needed better ammunition to defend
for these people to turn on you is a very real threat," he
underestimate the volatility or the backlash, especially
when they have drugs in their system.
reason with them because they are so heavily affected by
alcohol and, in many cases, amphetamines. The drugs are a
Under the Security and Related Activities Control Act, security
officers can seek permission to carry firearms and batons, but
approval is usually limited to those escorting money and
valuables not bouncers at licensed venues.
Bridget Kenny, co-owner of The Shed in Northbridge, who also
runs her own security company, said she would welcome any
measures that protected her workers.
She said a lack of education by authorities about restrictions
at pubs and clubs had led to more assaults on door staff by
patrons who felt aggrieved by certain rules, coupled with the
proliferation of amphetamines and excessive boozing. "There is
that lack of respect, and if there is a lack of respect for the
police then there is even more of a lack of respect for security
staff who are trying to do their job," Ms Kenny said.
"You don't have the same tools available to you for protection
as the police to deal with certain situations so security staff
are more at risk as a result.
"Some of the restrictions on licensees these last few years are
so restrictive that the public are unaware of them so your
security staff and bar staff are left to educate the patrons. As
a result, assaults and verbal abuse against staff have
"Security are trained to deal with someone under the influence
of alcohol. You can usually reason with someone who is drunk and
eventually they will just go away. But when you're dealing with
somebody under the influence of other substances, you have no
idea what you're up against and refusal of entry can be met with
a very aggressive individual who has no sense of reason."
Another security insider, who wanted to remain anonymous,
claimed Perth had more trouble than many international cities
and aggression on the streets and outside licensed venues was at
an all-time high.
"Legally, the guys should be able to wear stab vests," he said.
Northbridge bouncer, Kevin, who did not want his surname
published, said he had been racially abused during his 18 years
in the industry and bouncers needed more protection.
"We shouldn't use violence as a first resort ... it is better to
talk. (But) they will try everything for you to throw the first
punches," he said.