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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 April 2008, 06:47 GMT 07:47 UK
Bouncers forced to work 'illegally'
By Jonathan Blake
Newsbeat reporter

Hundreds of bouncers are being forced to work illegally, or not at all, due to problems renewing their licences.

Nightclub

Three years ago a law came in making it a legal requirement for door staff to carry a licence, now many are finding it difficult to get theirs renewed.

One bouncer who did not want to be identified, told Newsbeat he had been waiting six months.

He said: "I've lost a major income, I'm struggling to pay my bills and having to borrow money."

Crime

The body responsible for issuing licences, the Security Industry Authority, says the backlog has been caused by a new computer system being delivered late.

Mike Wilson, Chief Executive of the SIA said: "We are aware that some people, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in the position of their old licence expiring before their new one has been issued."

It's putting members of the public in danger
Anonymous bouncer

Door staff without a licence are committing a crime and risking a fine of up to 5,000 or six months in prison.

The bouncer Newsbeat spoke to said he and many others have no choice but to work illegally.

He said: "It's putting members of the public in danger, a lot of experienced door staff I know are being replaced by inexperienced door staff."

Protest march

The advice to anyone whose renewal application has been delayed is to contact the SIA, but they admit that can be difficult.

Mike Wilson said: "I do accept that that hasn't been that easy. You can get through if you persevere."

Door staff in Swindon have staged a protest march about the licence system and a petition has been posted on Number 10 Downing Street website.

The SIA say they hope to have the backlog cleared by the end of May and workers may be entitled to claim compensation.



SEE ALSO
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Tuesday, 26 April 2005, 13:11 GMT |  Tees
Bouncer licensing laws in force
Monday, 11 April 2005, 04:04 GMT |  UK
'Why has it taken so long?'
Monday, 11 April 2005, 12:33 GMT |  UK

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