One-in-five London bouncers quit during COVID

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A report from City Hall highlights the issues facing London’s security industry

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A report from London’s Night Time Economy showed that the level of door security staff is around 80 per cent compared to pre-COVID levels.

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The City Hall study highlighted that staff shortages, security fears and the loss of Night Tube were all factors in the decline in London’s night trade, as reported by the report. BBC, Christmas bookings being canceled as a result of COVID and shifting to hybrid working on Friday nights have also contributed to staff shortages and job security issues.

In October, the Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) warned that the shortage of bouncers in the UK could pose a “hazard to public safety”. NTIA members believed that the reduction in staffing levels during the pandemic, Brexit and EU labor shortages could be blamed on a combination of workers.


NTIA CEO Michael Kiel told BBC: “The shortage of door security staff in the night time economy is becoming increasingly acute. We did a survey a few months ago which found that the security resource in the region was only 70 percent, and I fear the situation has worsened since then.

“Whether it is acting as a first line of defense against a terrorist attack, or intervening to prevent violent incidents, licensed security personnel are fundamental to public safety.”

He said the current shortage “is beginning to put the public in real danger”.

People line up at the Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021. credit: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

In response to the report, a City Hall spokesman said: “The Mayor is incredibly proud of London’s night economy which is among the best in the world and is vital to the capital’s social and economic recovery.

“They are also proud to bring back the first two Night Tube lines and Night Overground.


“He works closely with London councils, local authorities, the police and night time industries to support and champion business friendly licensing practices across the capital.”

City Hall has said they are running a £7 million ‘Let’s Do London’ tourism recovery campaign to boost footfall, consumer spending and confidence.

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