Can a "bouncer" (door staff/security) at a pub or nightclub legitimately use


New Member
force or eject you? Please note for people who are employed in this profession, I respect you (well, most of you) and am grateful for the job you do - this question is not to test or annoy you! I've never been in trouble with a bouncer and have been grateful to see them take swift action many times.

The thought just randomly entered my head today that I am wondering can a bouncer legitimately use force to eject somebody from premises or to 'end a situation' by use of force, in other words basically giving somebody a thump.

With most things you are given warnings, such as in a cinema there are warnings posted that state use of recording equipment is prohibited and offenders will be ejected or/and police called. I've never seen a notice in pubs/clubs saying that trouble may be dealt with by force.

It's obvious to most people, but I wonder if someone from a country without pubs/clubs went into one and was set upon by bouncers (rightly or wrongly) could they potentially sue for assault?


New Member
legally they can use reasonable force to eject a person after making reasonable requests to leave, they cant hit somebody to stop an argument but they can pull them apart


Full Registered User
Reasonable force is part of the job sometimes, How people define "reasonable" is difficult, as every situation is different. sometimes it is now classed as "necessary force" instead. As for the assault part of you question, it is possible to sue. Although most doorstaff will not assault anyone without it being required. By this i mean if a person genuinely believes that they are about to be assaulted, it is totally LEGAL, to use a pre emptive strike. Just remember that doorstaff in the uk have to be trained, qualified and licensed with the sia. All this comes to a cost of £350 to £450. I for one would not put my livelihood in jeopardy by assaulting somebody for no reason.


Longterm Registered User
P.S.N.I. usually tell us in Belfast equivalent force if hes shouting and screaming and being verbal use aggressive verbals back if he lifts a chair or bottle to hit you you are justified in using what force is necessary to control the situation.


Full Registered User
Reasonable force only. If a door superviser was to thump anybody, regardless of what country they were from, they would be able to bring a case of assualt against the DS, hence why some have their licenses revoked.


Full Registered User
A DS may use reasonable force to eject a patron. If the patron has been asked to leave and refuses or ignores the request, then he/she has become a trespasser and reasonble force may be used to eject the patron.

That doesn't mean the DS can kick the s**t out him and throw him through a window though, the force used must be direct proportion to the threat, i.e. If the patron is six foot ten and gearing up to wreck the place, then a pre-empitive strike would be justified, if, on the other hand he was a 5 foot waif then a pre-emptive strike COULD be seen as assualt.

A DS, or anyone for that matter, can meet force with force and should the DS, (or average joe on the street) beat the baddie senseless then they may find themselves up for assault.

However, if the DS (or average joe) did everything they could to de-escalate the situation and/or leave the area, then the law will look upon you in a more favourable light.



Longterm Registered User
I wouldnt thump someone, working in the dark north, there are fights, as with everywhere. Most of them are farmers, so not too bright (no offence to the farming community) but strong as bloody oxes. If a fight were to break out, our S.O.P's are literally to get the shit kicker out of the building a.s.a.p, any fire door will do,once outside, they can't get back in, and we normally have the police waiting outside to help out should he/she cause more trouble outside.


Full Registered User
Reasonable and neccessary are always key words,personally i find it a last resort and always try to talk a situation down first,less paperwork.


In answer to your question, simply, yes a door supervisor can use reasonable force to eject a numpty, oops sorry customer, from a premises to control a situation if necessary.

*used as a last resort if you can talk the situation down all well and good, but sometimes people will not be reasoned with, when the red mist appears...




Full Registered User

A u put it. (NAME ISNT USED ANYMORE) HAS the right to use legal use of force in any instant that they think, they themselves or the public are in danger.


Full Registered User
i worked as a Door supervisor for 13years, "Bouncer" isnt really a term that should be used to discribe the very hard working lads and lasses around the country, yes i agree there are the odd Thug. Removal by force should in an ideal world should only be done after clear warnings, BUT alot of the time this is very hard to do. take in to account, the door Supervisors are usually coming into a situation that needs a split second desision, One out All out, in very rare cases yes you could claim assalt, but come on...... why not sit and watch how a door team works, pref a good team, and then you will answer you own question....... rant over,


Full Registered User
In Australia (our common laws are based on British law) the Liquor Act provides publican's (and their employees) to refuse entry to licensed premises without reason and requires them to be refused service and/or removed if they are behaving in a disorderly manner. The term 'disorderly' means they are behaving in 'a manner contrary to common propietry' ie. anti-social behaviour. The level of force justified by law is also termed 'reasonable'. 'Reasonable' is often defined as what an ordinary citizen would find acceptable if placed in the same circumstances but generally it is the minimum amount of force necessary to safely overcome the amount of force being used. This test is applied to anyone who uses force including police making an arrest, licensed security personnel and members of the public protecting themselves from an assault in a self defence situation. If it is deemed that an inappropriate amount of force has been used then the person may find themselves cleared of any wrong doing with respect to the reasonable part of force used but charged with an assault type offence with respect to the excessive amount of force. As I mentioned, I can only speak authoritively on Australian law but I'm sure things aren't too different in jolly old England.


Longterm Registered User
As an ex Police officer who is now a qualified CPO I feel the standard of training provided Door Supervisor should be raised. I have completed the level 2 course myself and felt is provides the bare minimum of knowledge in which someone with no military or police training can attend. Dealing with persons who are under the influence of drink and drugs or have violent tendencies can turn into a disaster if not dealt with correctly. Anyone can attend a course of training one week and be on the door the next metaphorically speaking. A good DS is usually experienced and uses their interpersonal skills before resorting to physical force. I perceive too many DS are still of the old school and possess poor communication skills and lack patience. I am sure there are some very handy DS out there with a high pain threshold who are a useful asset when the wheel falls off the cart. My point is when a person is lawfully ejected they usually make a complaint to police, who on receiving a complaint generally arrest the DS because they have to. The police have been forced into a corner because of pressure to meet targets regarding violent crime, until the CPS decide if there is case to answer the DS will be left worrying if the will be charged or cautioned. Experience, Knowledge of legislation and a high level of training are paramount when dealing with some of the idiots out there.




Full Registered User
Hi there.

I have worked as a civilian in Police Custody for Thames Valley Police and have watched alot of cctv footage presented to custody Sergeants in relation to Door incidents.

In my experience it went like this; 'was the guy aggressive? yes. Did they try to talk him down first? yes. Did he start being a ####? yes. Empty hands first? yes.

Right, cheers M/L/P [insert many names here instead of M/L or P] off you go - no charges, its justified.

The Police have no interest in prosecuting a guy who goes through force escalation, none at all. Yes they will look at it, yes they may have to sort it out under the cold eye of the custody suit, but it never and i mean never went to court unless it was fist in face first with no provication.

Should see the state that some of the knobbers who wanted to take on the world arrived in though... that was mildly amusing.


Longterm Registered User
CCTV is a wonderful tool if used correctly such as switch it on at start of shift, upgrade the sytem where necessary to avoid grainy images, do not delete incident or record over it as it may support your account or prove your guilt. Where I used to police there were issues such as trying to exhibit CCTV i.e, staff did not know how to down load the incident, it could not be down loaded until the following day, the picture quality was poor or the camera did not have a clear and unobstructed view of the incident due to the venue being full, or it was time lapse which is not great. Most CCTV recordings outside the venue are clear cut with good witnesses to negate or support an arrest, failing this the CPS can sort it out. Another issue, is if the custody PS on duty does not have a back bone then common sense decisions go out the window.


Full Registered User
Here in Canada we have a Use Of Force Continum , that all security personall use that being said I always tell my guys always pretend your on video and in court remember the term "what a resonable man would do"


New Member
Why would you ask such a question ? You sound like some one who forever quotes that they 'Know their RITES'. The sort of clown that refuses to be searched, will not comply with a polite request because they know their Rites. We've all met you, and we will come across you again and again. A simple rule of thumb is; If you behave like a pratt, you will be treated like a pratt. If you choose to put others in danger, then expect to find yourself in harms way. We are there to protect you, to allow you to have a safe and secure night. We and all the patrons want and deserve a good night in a pleasant environment. If you are asked to do something, come with us or are asked to leave. then please comply. We are not doing it for fun. We are trying to do a job with rules that stand on shifting sands, they don't always apply in the way they are written. If trouble starts don't get involved, get the DS, stay out of the way. and report what you 'thought' you saw when things are calmer. In a hot dark sweaty club it can be very hard to work out whats what. You know where we work, we have no intention of harming you. Its not worth the hassle. Also, Expect to have to produce your ID when removed from a venue. I want to be safe. You know where I work, I will want to know who you are, to even the odds. If you refuse to identify yourself I will call the police, who will take your details, (thats sensible old school)
Maybe I've got you wrong or you came across some DS who was insecure in his capabilities. It should happen as follows TALK, WALK, CONTAIN, REMOVE, SECURE. but not always in that order.
Go back 20 years and FEAR was the KEY. You knew if you stepped out of line, then it was going to hurt. Hence we had a lot less trouble off of bits of kids. Who start a row and then cry foul when it comes back with interest on them.
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Full Registered User
not my area but same principals apply All to do with level of violence. You have certain degrees of violence.Initiating from Jovial,talkative, intimitading, abusive, aggressive,
which do you as a door person react too!!!
I would react from a proffessional point of view to the more friendlier approach(Jovial/Talkative)
lok forward to the replys, not forgetting I have done the door job

John Twells

New Member
Didn't realise that you were involved in DS work ! Did you have the OC's permission young man ? ( Ah and there's me calling the kettle black)

PS. you owe me an e mail !!!!!