Image: Max Connelly-Webster

Leamington bouncers: students raise concerns

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Concerns have been raised over the bouncers at two nightclubs in Leamington Spa, following allegations of physical altercations involving female students in recent weeks.

The incidents, which allegedly took place at Neon and Smack, have caused concerns over the safety of Warwick students on nights out to resurface.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed she was “grabbed” and physically “chucked out” of Neon, stating that it was not the first time that her or her friends had experienced such treatment.

She added: “I was angry and upset. It’s weird because it seems like a normal thing and it really shouldn’t be.”

The altercation allegedly took place after the student attempted to reenter the club to use the cloakroom, at the instruction of the lady attending it. She maintains the bouncers refused to listen to her, and that the following escalation was completely unnecessary.

I went in with my friend and neither of us had our ID checked. We noticed there were loads of people who looked really young and were very drunk. One spilt their drink on my friend and said: ‘Oh my god I’m so sorry, it’s our first time in a nightclub, we’re only fifteen.’

Molly Willis, English and Theatre Studies finalist

Another student claimed that at Smack she was thrown across the dance floor after engaging in a dispute with the club’s bouncers. Meanwhile, a third student raised concerns over how carefully the bouncers were checking that people were old enough to enter.

Molly Willis, an English and Theatre Studies finalist, stated: “I went in with my friend and neither of us had our ID checked. We noticed there were loads of people who looked really young and were very drunk. One spilt their drink on my friend and said: ‘Oh my god I’m so sorry, it’s our first time in a nightclub, we’re only fifteen.’

“When we were leaving I told the bouncers I thought it was horrendous that they hadn’t been checking IDs as they were compromising people’s safety. They started getting defensive and laughing, asking how we knew they weren’t lying – it seems incredibly unlikely that someone would lie about being underage in a nightclub.

“They claimed to have checked everyone’s ID but they did not check mine, my friend’s, or that of anyone with us.”

Just over a third of 100 Warwick students surveyed earlier this year by the Boar said that they had experienced violent or aggressive behaviour from bouncers on a night out in Leamington.

Over half of students surveyed said they felt safer with bouncers present on a night out. But 7% did not feel Leamington was safe for them at all while clubbing.

However some students’ experiences were more positive than others.

Shivank Nambiar, a first-year Business and German student, commented: “The bouncers I’ve had to deal with have always been reasonable – they’re only doing their jobs after all and I guess it can be easy to get it wrong sometimes with all the people they have to deal with.”

English Literature finalist Charlotte Newbury told the Boar that at Propaganda at the Assembly, while dealing with someone who was in no fit state to reenter, the bouncer remained calm even as the man became fairly agitated – allowing him back into the cloakroom to collect his jacket while making sure he understood why he couldn’t let him back in.

Both Neon and Smack have been contacted numerous times for comment, but as of yet neither of the nightclubs have replied.

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