United Kingdom July 24 2022
Nightclub security staff in parts of the UK are being offered a new tool in an effort to deal with difficult clubgoers, and it isn’t what you might expect.
Bouncers and door staff will be given “handheld forensic spray devices”, also known as “Smart Water” devices, to spray on unruly punters and mark them so they can be apprehended by police.
The spray works as a “permanent marker” and is visible when a UV light is shone on it.
The measure is a result of rising levels of anti-social behavior in town centers and was originally deployed in supermarkets.
The Smart Water spray was given to 400 Co-op security guards after a spike in attacks against frontline staff during covid.
New research has found that violence and abuse against pub staff and bouncers has also risen dramatically since the pandemic, so Smart Water has been added to bouncer’s arsenal to help tackle it.
And so far, it is actually working.
This roll-out to security staff in multiple parts of the UK follows a successful trial in Hereford, last October, when bouncers offered cans of SmartTag.
Now pubs, bars and nightclubs across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, are going to be training staff to use the aerosol-style spray.
Sergeant Nick Hall, of West Mercia Police, said: “This is an exciting step in our continued efforts to challenge anti-social behavior, keep people safe and protect them and staff from harm.
“This new technology and its deployment will help us to address some of the elements relating to anti-social behavior which are seen especially in our nighttime economy and send a positive message to our communities that we are doing all we can to address their concerns.
“We will hand over the new equipment to those people responsible for keeping your pubs, bars and clubs safe places to relax and have fun and who often face a barrage of abuse and violence.
“By safely tagging individuals, officers patrolling the community can easily identify them and progress any required enforcement.”
Tyler Haines, who is deputy doorman at Play Nightclub in Hereford and whose team uses SmartTag said: “In January we attended an incident within our club where two men were very aggressive, assaulting door staff and assaulting customers.
“As the situation got unpredictable I took the decision to pull out SmartTag to deter the two men however, one man went to punch me and so SmartTag was deployed at them.
“Both men fled the scene and diffused the situation.”
So, basically, keep your hands to yourself in the club and don’t try to square up to any bouncers, or you’ll be getting tarred with the black mark pretty soon.