Clubs call for tougher laws on security

Clubs call for tougher laws on security

Brisbane pub workers are calling for tougher self-regulation of the security industry after it was revealed that Queensland’s private security laws lagged behind other states.

[media-credit name=”Supplied” align=”alignleft” width=”590″]A photo of a Townsville security manager[/media-credit]

Karim De Ridder is tired of of being called a thug

Fight Club Bouncers Spoil the Bunch

Townsville security manager Karim De Ridder is fed up; fed up with the media for spotlighting one-off incidents and tarring the entire security industry with the same brush; fed up with the cowboy bouncers who mistake their security licence for a permit to choke, throttle and thump without fear of repercussions.

At 192 centimetres and carrying 115 kilograms of hard muscle, there’s nothing about De Ridder that says “target”. But according to the experienced North Queensland doorman, all he has to do is put on his uniform to have boozed-up club-goers queuing for a shot at glory.

The 25-year-old qualified physiologist claims any bouncer worth his weight will learn to tune out and not take the abuse personally, yet readily admits he has itchy-knuckled colleagues who relish the chance to flex their authority.

“I’ve heard all the horror stories and to be honest not many surprise me,” Mr De Ridder said. “The problem is, for every 100 blokes doing their job legitimately, there’s going to be a couple who want the confrontation.

“Look at the job description and can you really be surprised that there’s going to be a few goons that make their way in?

“Some of them think it’s fight club and they have free reign so long as they’re out of sight or off camera.”

While Mr De Ridder speaks matter-of-factly and with little condemnation in his tone, he is certain to assert that these are a tiny majority, and more often than not it is the bouncer being treated roughly.

Through long weekend shifts while the rest of society is letting loose, the security guards are taxed with the colossal task of ensuring their safety.

If one underage patron slips inside, the venue faces fines ranging in the ten of thousands. If a 20-man melee breaks out, the bouncer must charge into the fray for as little as $23.80 per hour – and should they inadvertently injure a patron in the process, they’re liable for personal litigation.

It is hard, thankless work and De Ridder genuinely believes the burden of responsibility far outweighs any power-perks the position entails.

“I’m not saying the system is perfect – not by any stretch – but it’s just so Australian to blame the authority figure,” he said.

“We’re dealing with places packed to the seams full of drunken and drugged up teens and should we get it wrong once or if there’s one club in town taking people into a back room for a tickle, that’s what gets remembered.”

“We’re kicking out dozens of drunken, aggressive tools without incident on every night of the week, but if one of them gets themselves hurt resisting, well it’s ridiculous that that’s what makes the news.”

With all the scrutiny and questions over the role of security, it is only fair that Mr De Ridder should be allowed a question of his own: “Yep, there are some power-tripping meat-heads out there and yes we do get it wrong once in a while, but would anyone actually feel safer if we weren’t there?”