“We are all free to make whatever choices we want, but we are not free from the consequences of those choices.”
As security staff working in the night time economy we are often called on to deal with or assist people who are suffering the unintended consequences of their actions. Usually many of these consequences are avoidable. For example, if someone is obnoxious or aggressive at the front door, they’ll be refused entry. If someone gets drunk, causes drama or starts trouble inside a venue, they’ll be asked to leave the premises (and maybe barred). If someone falls ill because of drugs or drink, we’ll help them out. We’re here to make sure people stay safe and enjoy their night out but there’s only so much we can do. There are simple steps that every individual can take to keep themselves safe. With cuts to the front-line police force hitting hard and fast, it’s even more important that people take personal responsibility for themselves and their friends on a night out in order to stay safe.
Most nights out go without a hitch, everyone has a good time and gets home safe. However, there can potentially be some serious consequences if you don’t take care of your own personal safety, especially when you’ve been drinking and your inhibitions are lowered and your guard is down. This can make you vulnerable and an easy target for criminals. While I would never blame the victims of crimes for becoming a victim, being realistic rather than naïve can help to prevent you becoming a target in the first place. The law of cause and effect is a good rule of thumb:
Good deeds bring good results
Bad deeds bring bad results
Your own deeds bring your own results
As well as party-goers and people out to enjoy themselves, the night time economy attracts individuals whose sole purpose is to exploit those whose guard is down because they’ve been drinking (or using): drug dealers, street thieves, rapists to name just a few. Taking personal responsibility for your safety can help to protect you from these types of individuals.
- If you take drugs, do you know what is in that legal high or white powder you just bought from that man on the street corner? Are you keeping yourself educated about the latest street drugs which have been responsible for hospital admissions/deaths? Are you mixing drugs and alcohol? Keep yourself informed and educated.
- If you want to go outside for a smoke, don’t expect door staff to guard your drink – they are usually too busy and can’t be responsible for everyone’s drinks. Finish your drink before you go out or leave it with a trusted friend to avoid getting it spiked. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust.
- Don’t use your expensive smart phone in the street late at night. Don’t flash your money. Don’t let ‘hugger-muggers’ anywhere near you – they may seem friendly but they’ll pick your pockets.
- Don’t lose your friends. Look out for each other. If you are separated from your friends, how will you get home? What if you lose your keys/phone/bag? Have you got enough money for a taxi? A contingency plan? Unfortunately a woman was raped recently in Manchester after being separated from her friends and getting into what she unwittingly thought was a taxi. Males are also vulnerable to sexual assault and a man was raped in the Northern Quarter not so long ago while walking alone in a dark street. Make sure you have a plan for getting home and stick with your friends.
- Underage drinkers using their sibling’s ID may think it harmless to get past the door staff to drink illegally. Laws and rules appear like they were designed by killjoys but they are simply there to protect vulnerable people, especially very young people.
- An example of bad deeds bringing bad results is the tragic case of a man who was killed by a single punch in Manchester city centre last year. One punch can kill. This man can’t be brought back and the individual who is responsible for his death is in prison and can’t undo what he did. Think about what you are doing – do you really want a death on your conscience and a serious criminal record? Walk away from trouble and don’t drink so much that you lose your inhibitions and your moral compass. Worried about losing face? So what. Nobody gets hurt if you are big enough to walk away from a confrontation.
The basic message when it comes to the consequences of your actions is to catch the stone before it hits the water. There’s no point in spending time trying to undo what you have already done. It’s done. If you’ve got yourself in a mess and need help, however embarrassed or upset you are (or if involves illegal drugs) please speak to door staff. We won’t judge you or get you into more trouble; we’ll simply help you out. That’s what we’re there for. Stay safe.