Attacks on bouncers in pubs and nightclubs are rocketing at an alarming rate, new figures show.
The number of assaults on security staff across Merseyside has increased every year since 2013, reaching its highest level in five years in 2017.
One top councillor has now called for an “urgent” review into the ballooning level of violence.
The figures, obtained by The ECHO through a Freedom of Information request, have raised fears that an increasingly rowdy Merseyside nightlife is putting bouncers under threat.
They show that, in 2013, just 160 people were arrested in Merseyside for attacking a bouncer.
But this figure has increased every year since, rising by 56% and reaching 249 in 2017.
Richard Kemp, the Liberal Democrat leader on Liverpool’s council, said the figures were alarming and showed “far too much” of a rise.
He said: “Safety is one of the things that Liverpool nightlife has been best at. And, whatever is needed, and, however we do it, we need to keep it up.
“Otherwise, our city centre won’t have as many people, won’t have as many jobs, won’t have as many security staff.
“[Bouncers] accept a bit of rough and tumble in their job – but this is far too much.”
He said Merseyside’s increasingly-violent nightlife could be the result of legal highs – and questioned whether bouncers are given sufficient training to protect themselves from drunken and aggressive clubbers.
He added: “I would certainly say this needs to be the subject of an urgent review.”
Police insisted that nightlife violence in the city centre “remains relatively low”, pointing out that the city has retained its Purple Flag status (awarded to cities with well-managed night economies) for the eighth year in a row.
Community Inspector Steve Hardy said: “We have proactively engaged more with security staff in recent years – and encouraged them to report assaults which they may previously have considered an unfortunate part of their job.
“My message is simple, assault is assault – and being refused entry to a venue or ejected from a venue is not under any circumstances an excuse to use violence.
“One assault on a member of security staff is too many – and we will continue to work hard with our partners to ensure the city remains a safe place with a good reputation.”
He added that police investigate reports of such violence “thoroughly”.
Source – Liverpool Echo