Bouncers with criminal convictions could now lose their jobs, as the private security industry attempts to clean up its act.
Under new regulations, which will see the establishment of a national register for door staff, vetting procedures will be tightened and individuals will have to attend four-day training courses.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA), which manages the UK private security sector, hopes that the legislation will transform the sector. "In a couple of years' time, the industry will be unrecognisable," said Robert Buxton, a spokesman for the group. "We're trying to get away from the ‘Two Rons' image."
The 2001 Private Security Act, which is already in force in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, will be extended to the rest of the country by April 2005. SIA has already sent out 11,000 registration application packs, with 5% of doormen failing the test.
"There are some very cosy arrangements at the moment," said Buxton. "Now it's a matter of public record, some will simply choose not to apply."
In March, the authority set up a website for bouncers who fear that a criminal past would result in doors being slammed in their faces. Prospective door staff should visit www.the-sia.org.uk/licences/doors-crc2.asp to see if they qualify for a licence.