Security guards/door supervisors
Do you need security guards?
Security guards/door supervisors can be employed 'on the door', patrolling around the premises, or both. They can be plain clothed, or dressed in a uniform. Think about your crime and violence risks - are security guards/door supervisors needed and, if so, what are their objectives? Security guards/door supervisors can be effective as they act as a deterrent and they can help your staff feel more safe and secure, but they may not necessarily be the best solution for your business.
In England, Scotland and Wales, the SIA provides information about employing security guards and door supervisors.
If you decide to use security personnel check that you and your staff have a clear understanding of their role and ensure good communication.
Specify how security will work with other staff and other security technology, in order to ensure the most efficient use of their presence.
Think about the location of your security staff, try to locate them so that customers know they are being watched.
Specific to licensed premises:
- Publicise your dress code/acceptable behaviour/search policies.
- This way customers will know what to expect and door supervisors can refer to the policies if individuals are causing trouble.
- Door staff could also 'interview' customers, for example asking them 'How are you today?' to gauge their response and look for signs of trouble or intoxication.
- For persistent or extreme offenders, exclusion orders from the courts could be an option.
- These can stop violent or threatening offenders entering premises for a specific period. However, such orders can be difficult as they rely on convicting the person of an offence within a licensed premises, or being able to identify a person which means they either need to be well known or photographs need to be available.
- Other solutions might therefore be preferable, eg refusing service or entry or ejecting troublemakers. Sometimes a number of premises in one area can agree to share information and ban an individual from all local premises or premises in the same chain.
- Think about how you or your staff will search customers.
- Ask for permission to search individuals, be polite, professional and positive. Protect search staff against sharp objects found while searching and make sure they know what to do if they find drugs or offensive weapons.
- Metal detectors can be useful, although physical searching might be just as effective as there is also the potential of discovering drugs on an individual. It can also be useful to search bags and purses. However, you need to think about how customers will perceive this searching and whether it will be accepted.