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West Mercia Police give out SmartTags to reduce anti-social behavior in nightclubs

Nightclub bouncers will be armed with Smart Water to tag drunk thugs so they can be caught by the police.

Hand-held forensic sprays will be issued to security personnel to combat anti-social behavior in the city centre.

Smart Water acts as a permanent marker – saving door staff the hassle of chasing troublemakers.

Officers can then find those that have been sprayed and shine UV light on them to show they have been tagged.

The rollout to security staff follows a successful trial last October when Hereford bouncers were armed with SmartTags.

Pubs, bars and nightclubs in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire will now train staff to use the aerosol type spray.

Tyler Haines, assistant doorman at Play Nightclub Hereford and whose team uses SmartTag, said: ‘In January we witnessed an incident at our club where two men were very aggressive, assaulting door staff and assaulting clients.

“As the situation became unpredictable, I took the decision to remove SmartTag to deter the two men, but a man went to hit me and so SmartTag was deployed on them.

“Both men fled the scene and diffused the situation.”

It comes after research found violence and abuse against pub staff and bouncers increased dramatically following the Covid pandemic.

Sergeant Nick Hall said: “This is an exciting step in our ongoing efforts to combat anti-social behaviour, keep people safe and protect them and staff from harm.

“This new technology and its deployment will help us address some of the elements of anti-social behavior that are particularly evident in our nighttime economy and will send a positive message to our communities that we are doing everything we can to address their concerns.

“We will be handing over the new equipment to the people responsible for keeping your pubs, bars and clubs safe for relaxation and fun and who often face a deluge of abuse and violence.

“By securely tagging individuals, officers patrolling the community can easily identify them and advance any required enforcement.”

The bouncers’ deployment comes after Smart Water sprays were administered to 400 Co-op security guards following a spike in attacks on frontline staff.

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement