UK nightclubs have warned they are “running out of time” to find bouncers amid staff shortages which could impact the safety of customers on nights out.
Bosses at the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and UK Door Security Association have cautioned that lives could be at risk without government intervention.
The trade groups said that 75% of members surveyed – including nightclubs, bars and pubs – felt that security staff shortages were impacting on their ability to protect the public.
Back in October 2021 the BBC reported that Brexit and a lack of EU workers was contributing to the shortage of bouncers, and the problem is even more pressing now.
Meanwhile, around 60% of businesses felt this was impacting on public confidence to go on nights out.
Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the NTIA, said: “We are simply running out of time.
“The sector has been raising the alarm about security resource concerns for the last few years and we are only now slowly starting to engage with the Government on this crisis.
“The summer is approaching very quickly, and we need a government intervention to remedy the situation before we are potentially subject to another tragedy where lives are lost, and we are left to take action retrospectively.”
The figures come against a backdrop of an increased focus on the safety of women at night following anti-spiking campaigns and the recent recommendations by the Home Affairs Committee Inquiry into Spiking.
The Government is also expected to place a duty on businesses to protect the public from terrorist threats following recommendations from the Manchester Arena inquiry, the NTIA said.
There was also a stern warning from 77% of businesses who thought the situation may deteriorate further as the most experienced security staff were diverted towards other roles or festivals over the summer.
Bosses said the Government needed to act now before staff resources potentially weakened as a result.
Mr Kill added: “The current Private Security Act is not fit for purpose, the regulator is struggling to control the market without the relevant tools and we are about to embark on one of the busiest event seasons for the last decade following on from the pandemic.
“Government needs to act – and act fast.”