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Monday, September 04, 2006

Blue light taxis

Now it's not often we have to deal with the boys in blue, though they do like to drive past and keep an eye on us.

Most commonly they'll just wave as they drive by and they can see we're working and we can see they're driving around seeing we're working.

Every now and again they actually walk past and say hello or stop and get a tea/coffee and a natter. They do this I'm sure to tick a box somewhere saying they've spent time working in partnership with licensed premises staff to promote a safer city. From the sounds of it there are always boxes to be ticked.

Sometimes we have them come around and check we've all got our silly blue badges somewhere about our person. We show them, they write down the numbers and then promtly ignore the whole transaction other than to tick another box somewhere to say they've verified the integrity of the licensed doorstaff scheme.

Every now and then they'll ask if we've seen someone, there are only a few folks who they'd think we'd have recognised though it's odds on we haven't on any particular night.

Evreynow and then they'll pop in and have a gander for someone, seldom find them in the premises but it does work to scare our customers honest every now and then and it keeps a pair of bobbies out of the rain for 10 minutes as they stop for the inevitable tea/coffee.

Then we come to the times when we call them.

This is not a very often occurrence though when on the doors of the bigger clubs it's often more as a heads up to CCTV or patrols about the folk we've rejected. They usually ignore it though there are times when it's best to let them know the folk they've been asking after all night have just left our doors heading onward into the cold dark night.

Everynow and then the doorstaff would rather the police ejected someone. This is rare where I work though if you think it'd be more trouble and cost to scrap a large group out into the street its amazing how one or two brightly jacketed high viz police officers can be very persuasive.

The other time this happens is if the person by entering a licensed premises has already broken the law due to court order or bail conditions. Then rather than just hoicking them out onto the street we'll let the police know to be waiting with the back doors of the van open.

Sometimes when folk get rejected or ejected they just don't go away. These times we just send for the boys in blue to send them on their way homeward. If they keep being royal pains in the arse even when the van turns up they'll be getting B & B for the night.

Everynow and then we'll pull someone in for a random search and they'll agree, somehow forgetting the quantity of drugs they have poorly concealed about their person. They could just head to the door and we've no power to stop them but they agree to be searched and then we find all manner of illegal goodies on them. We then ask them to stay put and generally they do. If they want to leg it we persuade them it's best not to as the police are one their way and we're fairly sure they would far rather not have to run after them. It usually works and the police either say hello to an old friend when they come in or just book it and sling em in the back.

If large scale public disorder is likely to erupt on a front door we often find ourselves shoulder to shoulder with the high viz plods and thankfully we don't have to use HO approved restraint techniques. It's more fun doing it our way but they do get to play with extendable batons and handcuffs.

I think in our city we get on well, with the changes in the industry over the last 5-10 years, I think both us and them see the others as partial allies in the grand scheme of keeping punters safe doing what they want to be doing and keeping the rotten apples out of the pie.

Every now and then they just don't turn up which properly gets on our tits.
More on this when I've cooled off enough not to give a ten page rant.

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