Accounting for Bouncers: Occupational Licensing as a Mechanism for Regulation

Stuart Lister, Philip Hadfield, Dick Hobbs, Simon Winlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the scope, structure and impact of the occupational licensing systems designed to increase the legal accountability of licensed premise security personnel — better known as `bouncers'. Much vilified for a perceived association with high levels of violence, this form of private security now dominates the systems of social control that function across the UK's burgeoning night-time economy. The assured regulation of the trade is an issue of crime prevention within the sphere of public safety. This paper considers the impact of occupational licensing, discusses its lack of coverage and haphazard implementation, and draws out some policy lessons for the soon-to-be-established Security Industry Authority. We conclude by warning that the `bouncer problem' is merely a symptom of the wider disorder related to the rapid expansion of an alcohol-fuelled night-time economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-384
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Accounting for Bouncers: Occupational Licensing as a Mechanism for Regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this