Predictions of bouncer shortages and compromised safety are coming true, Wigan clubland source claims

An insider in Wigan’s night-time economy says that his predictions of a crisis due to a bouncer shortage is coming true.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 4:16 pm
King Street in Wigan

Back in July the wigantoday source predicted a problem for many venues because of ongoing problems in the door staff industry having been worsened by Covid.

This week the issue hit the national television and newspaper headlines, saying that indeed there is a shortfall in qualified staff to look after venues and that this was putting public safety at risk.

Because large parts of the night-time economy were closed from March 2020 to July this year, many door staff - as is the case with many other employees in the sector like bar workers and waiting staff - have gone off to find other jobs.

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And it seems many have been quite happy to stay in these new professions now that restrictions have lifted on the hospitality industry.

Brexit, which has seen Eastern European workers return home, has made the situation worse.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said last month around one in five hospitality businesses had closed or reduced operating hours due to a shortage of security staff.

But Sky News claims the situation has “deteriorated further” after demand has continued to soar from customers following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Chief executive officer of the NTIA, Michael Kill, said: “If shortages continue to get worse, there is a very real chance it could become a threat to public safety.

“Like in other sectors currently seeing shortages, this is a long-term issue and decline in security resources can be tracked back at least three years, but this has been hugely exacerbated by the pandemic with many licensed staff leaving the sector when the bars and clubs closed and now choosing not to return.”

And the wigantoday source said: “I don’t like to say ‘I told you so’ but this secenario is coming true.

“The problems are deep-rooted. One of them is that door staff are not as well-paid as they used to be so there is less of an incentive to work and there is less of a chance of recruiting people who are up to the job.

“We now have security companies and licensees having to ring up for staff who aren’t familiar with the local area which can cause problems of its own.

“And then there is the Security Industry Association which has highly experienced, people jumping through so many hoops, listening pointlessly to ex-bobbies telling them their job which they know backwards already, and having to pay out so much money for licences that many don’t bother anymore.

“Covid has shown them alternative work and they have taken a liking to it, for example, as hospital porters.”