Clubs, Pubs and Security…

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Boring, Our World, Rant, Shenanigans
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently I have heard a few people, both online and in person, complaining about the recent tougher measures to gain access into a club or a pub. These include ID scanning, photograph (to match to the ID, in case of hair colour / length change etc) and even fingerprinting or iris scanning. More common is the use of a handheld metal detector for use on either every single patron, or simply, the ones that look a bit suspicious (also known as a ‘random check’)

Somehow, some people find this as an invasion of privacy! To be honest, the term ‘invasion’ suggests that they had no say in the matter… Actually, as this is a condition of entry, not a mandated requirement for all persons, it’s a very simple thing. IF you don’t like these restrictions, don’t enter the venue! Find a venue that offers less security, and is at the standard that you would prefer, regarding entry procedures. I will visit you in the Emergency Room.

Clubs and Pubs are doing this to help stop the urge to fight… people are much less likely to cause trouble in the venue (and ruin a good night for everyone else) if they know that security knows who they are, and has their ID on file.
One place I …go to take a head and chest photo (bust) of every entrant, and matches it to photo ID on their computer. if there is a fight, the victim only needs to describe what they were wearing, and they can scan the photos, find the person, and forward their information and ID scan to the police.
I am a licensed security guard and crowd controller, and anything that can help lower the risk of a fight, a glassing or a stabbing can only be good.

Also, they are not forcing you to do it… it is simply a condition of entry… don’t like it? go somewhere that doesn’t check IDs! It loosely falls into the same vein as “Dress Code Applies” or “No Shirt, No Service”… No ID and photo/iris scan? no entry.

The information is only kept for a few weeks (in case someone reports a crime a few days later, like a date rape drug or an assault after leaving the venue etc. The venues generally couldn’t care less about ‘selling the information to the Russian Mob / Mafia’ or anything sinister, it is simply to help try to keep the venues safe, especially in the CBD of Melbourne, where it is just ridiculously unsafe these days…

And to all the Conspiracy Theorists, and people declaring that Big Brother is ruling our society, the information collected is not used for anything more than ensuring a safe venue, which is what most in the general public are wanting… without the risk of being stabbed, shot, glassed or bashed… not to mention the safety of their own staff, including bartenders, security, DJ and other entertainers.
The data would not be kept longer than deemed necessary by the local police (if you called a police station, tell them that you are considering setting up this system at a nightclub, and ask how long is too long to keep the data, they would probably tell you)

I have worked at lots of venues as bartender or security, and I can tell you, working at places that don’t have these measures in place is no fun. The risk of fights, weapons and everything else is simply not enjoyable for anyone, patrons or staff… I worked at a gay bar in Melbourne’s suburbs for a few shifts, which have ID scans, photograph via webcam to match up, as well as a handheld metal detector for suspicious / baggy clothing people (or indeed anyone that it is deemed may cause trouble in the venue). Entry can be refused at any club, and no reason needs to be given. the Door staff are working on behalf of the management, and as such, has the right to refuse entry to anyone that the manager would probably refuse it to.

This can be for a range of reasons, from either dress code, intoxication, physical behavior, and yes, even physical appearance (much to many people’s disgust). For example, if a person with a T-shirt saying “I Hate Fags” or “White Power” tried to gain entry into a gay bar, they would be refused. Even if the person was a lovely person, calm, sober and happy, they would be denied, as it would not fit with the venue’s standards. It would cause problems or arguments, or most likely fights.

I know, I am getting off track here… my point is simple. The venues do not simply think of ways to ‘make your night out as shit as possible’, but they do think of ways to ‘make your evening as safe and enjoyable as possible’… unfortunately sometimes ‘safe’ and ‘enjoyable’ need to be balanced, as too much ‘safe’ lowers enjoyment for some.

Personally, I have been ID’ed in this manner at a bunch of places, and I always feel safer there, knowing that IF something happened, the person would be found VERY quickly, and face the consequences for their actions. People who know that this can and will happen are much less likely to start trouble.

I have witnessed people who have walked up to the door totally sober, pay the cover charge, and then walk directly into a venue, bash the crap out of a person they were targeting and then in the chaos aftermath, manage to slink out the door (no, I was not working security these nights). so the whole ‘Responsible Service of Alcohol’ issue is crap. The other problem is, people buy drinks for their drunk mates. Drunk mate gets cut off? that’s ok, Bazza will buy him more and more…

People need to start taking some responsibility for their actions, and stop blaming the staff of venues for every little issue.

If they collect IDs and photograph you? = invasion of privacy, conspiracy theorists unite!

If they allow anyone into the venue, no ID checks, no cover charge? = This place is too rough, too many fights, too much trouble…

If they serve alcohol responsibly, allowing a single drink for each order? = pfft… “dont tell me what I can and can’t drink!” this place is shit!

If they openly serve people trays of drinks, or buckets of beer? = there are too many fights, it’s too rough, they should serve alcohol more responsibly!

If they provide security to help counter these problems? = “OMFG this is a police state now!! This place is shit…”

If they send security home, so you are left with a room full of drunk people and 16 kegs of beer / 300 bottles of spirits? = OMFG I am being bashed, why wont people help me and stop this? I am special, I deserve better…

blah blah blah… simply put, a venue lets in who they want, and sets up whatever restrictions they want to (within the law, obviously)… if you don’t like the conditions, then go somewhere that doesn’t have them.

This is a police state, because people have stopped taking responsibility for their own actions, stopped caring about anyone but themselves, and would rather step over an injured / sick / drunk person to get into a venue, rather than help the person, and be delayed by more than 5 minutes (yes, I have seen this happen, and yes, I helped the person… turns out they had just had a stroke, but no one stopped to help)

King Street should be shut down. every single bar and club in the CBD Grid on King St… they are the main culprits, followed by Crown Casino clubs…

Most other venues (excluding a few dodgy ones!) are complying with the Responsible Service of Alcohol restrictions that have been set in place by Liquor Licensing Victoria, which includes hiring a minimum count of Crowd Control personnel, and at times, a collection of information or CCTV footage, should the venue be pinpointed as a place where fights have started (although some venues have opted to voluntarily add these services, as they DO make the venue safer)

King St venues seem to flout the regulations more than most, even weaseling out of the ‘1am lockout’ trials from a few years ago, thus causing the trial to fail, because ‘the streets were still full of drunks’. They don’t break the regulations, just push the boundaries, and have their legal teams challenge any new restrictions that may be placed on them.

Don’t even get me started on Crown Casino…

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