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Security Industry Backs Calls for Trained Bouncers

Media release
12 May 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Security Industry Backs Calls for Trained Bouncers

Employing a “big thug” to stand at the door is no solution to hospitality industry security needs says the New Zealand Security Association.

The association chairman, Scott Carter, responded today in support of media comments from Hospitality Association of New Zealand which is working to see a qualification available for doormen and other people responsible for security at bars, and other venues such as sporting events.

The Hospitality Association’s comments were made following today’s “not guilty” finding in relation to the death of a Napier man at the hands of a Napier nightclub bouncer in April last year.

The prosecution told the court the death was caused by the victim being repeatedly punched in the head and kicked in the face.

“We are very pleased the Hospitality Association recognises the importance of ensuring security officers are properly trained professionals, not just a ‘big thug’ to stand at the door,” Mr Carter says.

“It has been one of the Security Association’s greatest headaches that premises continue to employ unlicensed, untrained security staff. We have been calling for mandatory training and effective licensing for all security officers. At present there is no regulation or legislation relating to training standards for who can operate as a security officer and a licensing regime that is largely ineffective.

“We have been lobbying for a review of legislation for many years now.”

Mr Carter advises all people engaging a security officer to check references and experience carefully.

“Don’t just take a reference at face value. It could be someone has given a good report on a staff member they are keen to be rid of. Ensure the employee has qualifications and background appropriate to the position in which he or she is expected to perform.

“If security staff are employed to monitor the door, remember they’re not there just to keep out the minors or the undesirables. They’re also required to look after patron safety and to diffuse difficult situations, not stir them up.

“And,” he says, “they need to be reliably trained and thoroughly honest, which is why we advocate people employing security staff insist on reference checking and ideally employ people who are members of the New Zealand Security Association accreditation.”

ENDS

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