Bouncers: ‘a symbol of public trust’

Written by Joshua Campbell
Darryl Stelfox

Mr Nice Guy – Darryl Stelfox, a trainer at NSTA, wants bouncers to be seen as trustworthy

For as long as pub and hotel security has existed in Australia, skirmishes between patrons and ‘bouncers’ have been reported.

This then begs the question — are bouncers a source of provocation?

Recently, the Queensland Court of Appeal rejected claims by Ayr bouncer Christopher James Anderson that his two-and-a-half-year jail sentence for breaking a woman’s jaw was excessive. In 2009, Anderson — a bouncer for 14 years — was convicted of striking Jane Maree Beteridge, then 33, so hard that she was “lifted off her feet and deposited” on the roadway.

In rejecting Anderson’s appeal, Justice Cate Holmes wrote that the act was a “brutal response, fairly described as thuggery”.

Arguably, it is stories like this that can lead the pub-going population to be cautious — even mistrusting — of bouncers.

But Darryl Stelfox, Senior Trainer and Assessor at the National Security Training Academy NSTA, said cases like Anderson’s were rare and that every bouncer working in Queensland has had adequate training to let them deal with a range of different situations (podcast below).

“We’re a licenced symbol of public trust — people have a lot of trust in us simply because we are a security officer,” said Darryl.

“We want to be in a scenario where we’re simply there to guide and assist.

“When you see a security guard ‘going hammer and tongs’ on (bashing) a person, that particular guard has let the person get under his skin — he’s personalised what someone has said or done — and his professionalism has just gone out the window.

“That’s where the line has been crossed.

“And that’s where legal ramifications need to kick in, for the simple reason that if he suffers no consequences it’s going to happen again.”

The National Security Training Academy has operated since 1978, and currently operates over a dozen schools across Australia and New Zealand.

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