MP seeks kid-glove treatment for bouncers

A Labour MP is set to challenge the government on the looming recruitment crisis facing clubs and pubs which employ bouncers.

Eric Illsley, MP for Barnsley South, is calling for a delay in the 11 April cut-off date for door staff to be licensed in England and Wales.

He also wants the police not to prosecute about 10,500 bouncers whose applications have been sent in but have not been processed.

Under the current law by 11 April every door worker in England and Wales can be prosecuted if they do not hold a licence to work.

Only about 13,500 door workers out of the possible 100,000 are believed to have received the Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences so far.

Hundreds of pubs and clubs could be forced to close because of a shortage of licensed security staff.

And the shortage could be exacerbated if those working illegally are prosecuted and found guilty, as this will result in a five-year ban.

Illsley said: “In my opinion the SIA is only interested in flexing its muscles and does not care about keeping law and order in the leisure industry.”

Home Office minister Hazel Blear is expected to bow to pressure not to prosecute door workers who have applied but are awaiting their certificates.

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