Sadly there were serious shootings and stabbings in nightclubs across the globe this weekend. In Chicago and Auckland residents and Councillors are calling for the night clubs to be closed, but is this really the answer?
I have seen the effects of closing a night club, and it doesn’t really solve the problem.
The people who frequented the night club that got shut down just find a new night club to go to, and cause the same problems. People lose jobs and we close a valuable economic asset and end up inevitably with another boarded up building, that ends up being turned into flats or day time economy.
A thriving Night Time Economy is a valuable and important asset to any city, especially. The Night Report by the NTIA (Night Time Economy Industries Association) detailed that the Night Time Economy is worth £66bn to the UK economy alone and employs £1.2 million people, the vast majority are entry level employees aged 18 to 25 years old. And no night club owner wants to run a “problem venue” they like the rest of the city want it to be a fun safe success.
So how should we manage it when something goes wrong in the night club, I think:
- We should first check the policies and actions that the night club is taking to reduce violence already, rather than enter a blame game.
- Offer support to help them enhance their practices and policies where they may be lacking.
- Give thorough training to door staff, security, bar staff, glass collectors, toilet attendants on how to spot, turn away and deal with problem customers and vulnerable people. We often forget that most people who work and run night clubs are aged 18 to 25, if we have a duty to help and teach them best practise, we can’t expect the wisdom of a 40 or 50 year old on 18 year old shoulders unless we take training and education in the workplace seriously.
- Enter mediation to find a mutually beneficial way in which to keep the night club open and operating safely, including engaging with the neighbours, staff, customers and creating clearly and accountable objectives that can be regularly monitored.
- Work to better educate those who use the night time economy to ensure that they don’t carry weapons to start with, starting in schools and homes.
- Work with the Police to help identify those who do carry weapons
- Create a safe way for clubs to ask for help in dealing with issues that they don’t know how to overcome, without fear of it being used against them.
Interestingly if you are based in a country where weapon carrying is ok, I saw some great practise in a night club in Israel (I wish I could remember the night clubs’ name). They have a metal arch on the entry to the night club, then all guns are taken off those who are carrying them and stored in gun safe with a double security system (pin password, and lock). To retrieve the gun at the end of the night you had to take a breath test, if you were over the limit you didn’t get your weapon back and could come and claim it the next day.
Can you think of any other alternatives other than shutting a venue?
If you ever need a mediation service then please contact www.nighttimeeconomy.com as we can offer mediation to try and keep a venue open.
Written by Jo Cox-Brown: www.nighttimeeconomy.com Twitter: @jocoxbrown