Physical Intervention, Control & Restraint – Why Training Is So Important

Physical Intervention, Control and Restraint

I wrote a piece back in 2010 for Professional Security magazine and thought I’d revisit it, in light of the joint Home Office and SIA announcement on compulsory Physical Intervention training for ALL door supervisors, old and new. You can the full article here.

My article was about the use of force and how door supervisors need the knowledge and tools to be able to move people in a safe and controlled way, preventing both themselves and the members of the public that they deal with from harm or injury.

Emotions Run High

It’s always going to be a highly charged situation. If a door supervisor has used breakaway and disengagement techniques and some physical action has already been taken, the hope of now being able to calm someone down and talk to them rationally is probably zero, particularly if that person has been drinking or taking drugs.

So what happens next? The door supervisor will resort to any tactic to gain control of the situation and the problem customer. This is where things can actually get way out of control. In a highly emotive situation, grabbing people round the neck and wrestling them to the floor is not uncommon. I’ve seen it myself on the high street of a Saturday night.

The Dangers

Grabbing people round the neck and putting them to the floor significantly increases the risk of death. In 1992 the Police Research Group produced a report (Paper 26) about the growing number of deaths in police custody. Yet shockingly we still see it 20 years on – police officers and door supervisors tackling suspects to the floor and kneeling on their heads or bodies to restrain them.

Not only is that incredibly dangerous, it also makes the door supervisor look like the bad guy and opens them up to serious repercussions. The solution? Proper training. Having the full range of tools and techniques at their disposal will allow the door supervisor to gain control of a situation in a legitimate and safe way.

No Pain No Gain

Contrary to popular belief, using pain is a legitimate way of controlling a difficult situation. It still astounds me that the vast majority of security operatives have no idea of how much force they can use. Most will say minimum force. That in fact is not the case. That is why training is so vital.

The Consequences

If a door supervisor or security operative cannot deal with a violent situation in a proper and controlled way, then they and their employers could be staring down the barrel of a corporate manslaughter charge. Financial penalties for guilty verdicts are heavy with a £500,000 MINIMUM fine. As a company you would also be ordered by the court to publish the fact that you have been charged under Corporate Manslaughter legislation so your reputation would be in tatters and if that isn’t enough, wait until the “victim” or their family go after you for compensation.


I’ve been running security training for a number of years now and work with door supervisors and security operatives before, during and after their courses to achieve a very high level of understanding of physical intervention and how to deal with violent situations.

I’m always happy to hear from anyone with any questions about legislation, law and how training can help. Contact me here or give me a call on 02392 415 540.

I’ll do a quick post about the new compulsory physical intervention training for all door supervisors soon.


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