By John Smith • 03 September 2023 • 18:14
Bouncers can be intimidating but also protect
Credit: Xxinvictus34535 CC
Groucho Marx once said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member” and many people feel the same about going to a bar or restaurant that employs a bouncer.
There is obviously a need in certain types of larger bar and restaurant for there to be a greeter who can establish whether the guest has a reservation and then arrange to seat them and in busy clubs it is also recognised that a doorman will be on hand to ensure that the venue is not overcrowded.
However, this is quite different from seeing a normally hulking individual either at the door or even inside the venue who is clearly employed to keep an eye of guests, ready to step in should a fight occur.
The problem is if the venue knows that it needs to be able to stop fights between customers, should it actually be allowed to stay open as the very appearance of one or more bouncers suggests that the venue is not safe to be in.
It’s one thing for busy clubs and bars in the centre of a city to take precautions, but when it comes to restaurants, whilst security should always be paramount, a number of potential guests, especially and not surprisingly those who are older, could well be discouraged from visiting a restaurant that blatantly has security.
In theory, anywhere that employs a bouncer should ensure that they are ‘fit for purpose’ and this means that there should be a criminal records check to ensure that they don’t have any ‘skeletons’ which suggest that they have violent tendencies or a significant record.
There should be a proper policy and procedure in place in order to ensure that they are able to react in accordance with the law and their employer’s wishes in the event that a problem, arises.
Training is a must and if they are being hired from an external security company then the venue owners should ensure that they have the same sort of rules in place.
In all fairness, it’s invariably the customers who start the trouble and in many cases, it is the security people who have to try to resolve the problem without causing injury to other customers or indeed themselves although from time to time, they can get somewhat out of hand.
According to CBS News, a number of the reported 2,000 bouncers in Madrid are being invited to attend a course created by the Madrid regional government and an association of club owners to learn how to be both kind and tolerant yet carry out their jobs efficiently.
The voluntary course also teaches about anger management, civil rights, fire safety procedures and dealing with alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses so is a definite step in the right direction.
On the other hand, there are without doubt a number of bouncers who are part of organised crime rings who are working in order to sell drugs to the many young who visit nightclubs in particular.
Even the Spanish National Association of Professional Doormen accepts in the same article that “There are thugs. There are mafias and the violence comes from these same people.”
A properly trained bouncer’s strength and commanding presence should not be the first line of defence and if trained properly should remain clam under stress and always stay unemotional and place the safety of their customers in the forefront of all that they do.
The whole concept of security guards has exploded in Spain with a recent article in The Sun suggesting that at least one hotel is now employing guards to protect the sun beds around the pool in order ensure that there are no scuffles between holiday makers over who is entitled to which bed.
It goes a step further with luxury stores following the lead of other European countries by having designer attired security personnel to keep an eye out for potential shop lifters, whilst some supermarkets operate their own uniformed security forces and in shopping centres it is not unusual to see security personnel armed with long truncheons.
So, what started out as a simple comparison between Bouncers and Greeters has escalated into a much longer observation on the fact that the world of ‘Big Brother’ with its many type of security officer adding to the presence of the Guardia Civil, National Police, Local Police and other Government employed security officers as well as the ever growing CCTV surveillance.
We can all decide whether we want to go to a bar, club or restaurant which employs bouncers but with the problems currently caused by the cost of living crisis turning more people into potential law breakers, the world of security and observation simply keeps expanding.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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