‘We don’t get paid enough to be threatened with knives’ – South Shields nightclub owner takes measures to keep staff and customers safe
A South Shields nightclub has implemented a knife detector in an effort to keep customers and staff safe.
The measures mean that any potential customers wanting to enter Club del Mar, on Ocean Road, will now be checked by the door staff before being allowed inside the venue.
Owner Kerrie Ann Churchill, from Sunderland, has told the Gazette that a rise in violence and threats towards her and her staff has meant that she feels like she doesn’t have any other option than to have the knife detector.
The 48-year-old said: “There seems to be so much violence in the town recently; week after week I am reading police reports about someone being stabbed while on a night out.
"I have to put on a stab vest every time I come down from the club to the front door as people are threatening us with knives.
"I’ve worked in this industry for more than 20 years, I love my job but things like this makes me not what to do it anymore.
"I dread when the weekend comes as it is just vile, myself and my staff don’t get paid enough to be threatened with knives.”
Despite having to take the extreme measures, the feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, but Kerrie Ann feels like there needs to be more support from the authorities.
She added: “The customers are buzzing as they feel so much safer; the knife detector allows them to let out sigh of relief knowing that everyone in the club has been checked before they come in.
"They feel that they can have a night out and not end up seriously hurt.
"If the knife detector picks up someone carrying a knife, there isn’t a lot we can do except to try and detain them while we wait for the police; we are very limited in what we can actually do about it.
"We get loads of support from the police but they are also very limited in the amount of resources that they have so we feel like we are on our own with this.
"It is a very tricky and scary situation but I hope the knife detector will act as a deterrent.”