Serving time on drugs pushers

first_imgRoss Wigham looks at increased priorities for the licensed trade in securitycoursesThe major training concerns of pub and bar managers may once have beenpulling the perfect pint or learning the latest drinks prices, but moresinister overtones now occupy their thoughts. Security measures and concerns over illegal drugs are now high on the listof priorities around the nation’s nightspots and a rise in training istestament to the scale of the problem. The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the professional body for thelicensed trade with around 15,000 members, is finding that a raised awarenessof security issues and drugs is becoming essential to help prevent prosecution.A marked increase in the number of staff completing the relevant trainingcourses and gaining qualifications shows the sector is worried about the risks.The BII launched the National Certificate for Door Supervisors in 1998 and sofar 4,246 people have completed training, with 1,312 of those qualifying in thelast eight months. Similarly the Licensee’s National Drugs Certificate, which has been endorsedby Bob Ainsworth, responsible for the Government’s anti-drugs co-ordinationpolicy, has attracted 846 pub staff since its launch late last year. Both courses were launched in response to growing problems with violence anddrugs, says John McNamara, chief executive of the BII. The training aims tomake prevention and detection more professional. “Two or three years ago we identified the need for new training andthis was demand-led from the industry. Pubs and bars wanted to have a moreprofessional approach to drugs and door management,” he says. Increased door management training also came about in response to ahardening of opinion among local authorities, many of which now insist doorstaff are trained to a certain standard before issuing a public entertainmentlicence. Most big cities with large scale nightlife now operate a registrationscheme, which means that only properly trained staff can work on the door oflicensed premises. The training, which varies in length depending on local requirements, coversfirst aid, conflict management, safety, refusing entry, eviction and use offorce, and is assessed by exams and physical competence. McNamara says the registration schemes have been useful for the industry andthe authorities, because heightened training has led to reductions in doorincidents by up to 90 per cent in Bradford, Bournemouth and Warwickshire. The use and sale of illegal drugs is also a danger to the industry and thosewho are found to be negligent run the risk of losing their license. Landlordsneed a clearer understanding of the problem. “The training is trying to dispel some of the myths about drugs becausethere is ignorance around. Drugs are incredibly difficult to deal with. Welaunched the training in 2001 and the entries are really starting toclimb,” he says. The course is designed to raise awareness of the drugs scene and it gives abasic knowledge of the law surrounding the misuse and supply of controlleddrugs. It teaches staff to spot the signs of drug misuse and dealing, and how todevelop their own strategies to prevent such problems. The one-day course also gives people detailed instructions for searchingsuspects, how to deal with a medical emergency and a knowledge of thecircumstances that could lead to a licence being revoked. John Franklin-Webb runs Grosvenor International Services (GIS) – one of theBII’s 300 approved training centres – where he also teaches staff from theprison service how to deal with and search for illegal drugs. As part of his day job he carries out drug searches for the police and hasnoticed a rise in the number of bar staff interested in learning more aboutdeveloping drugs policies: “We’re seeing a growth in the need for staff tobe more professional when it comes to security and drugs,” he says. “Over the last year to 18 months we have noticed that more people wantto do this training, where we primarily teach staff to be aware of drugs anddrugs paraphernalia.” The course is a mix of classroom and practical learning but more emphasis isplaced on learning how to apply the theory in the workplace. “In training we will plant drugs and drugs paraphernalia in a buildingand teach people how to locate them. Then it’s about what to do when theyactually find them,” says Franklin-Webb. The qualification also covers monitoring staff for drugs as well as how tocomply with regulations covering the finding or confiscation of illegal drugs. “It makes staff much more vigilant to the dangers of drugs on thepremises and what to do about it,” he adds. Case studyDoor staff latch onAndrew Nicholls, security and licensing manager at SixContinents Retail, has been using training for his door staff in one form oranother for about six years. The group operates more than 2,000 premises in the UK and nowinsists all its external security suppliers are fully qualified.”Where we have large security teams we send managers oncourses with door staff to give them a better understanding of the skillsrequired, and similar training for when they face security issues.Six Continents will also be using the drugs qualification laterin the year to help train staff in coping with high-risk areas.ContactsTo find out more about BII coursescontact Jo Reynolds at the BIITel: 01276 417806 or e-mail [email protected] Previous Article Next Article Serving time on drugs pushersOn 3 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more