The brutal beating of a young man by bouncers on a night out in Paceville, Malta’s clubbing hub, has rightly shocked the nation, with the sight of a defenceless man’s head being stomped sparking outrage.
Unfortunately, it won’t stop people from going with locals and tourists alike ready to head to one of the many neon-coated clubs in the area.
In view of this, Lovin Malta thought it would be a great time to remind both people going and bouncers (unfortunately), what they can or cannot do:
For anyone heading to Paceville this weekend or the near future, here are some essential things you should know:
Can a bouncer refuse your entry?
A bouncer can deny you the right to enter whatever club only if you’re known to have caused some sort of disturbance either there or anywhere else, refused to produce your ID, if you’re showing signs of violent behaviour, and if you’re too drunk.
Needless to say, they can kick you out for the same reason.
Can a bouncer detain you?
If you’re in the club and show any sign of violent behaviour or harassing someone, the bouncer does have the right to detain you, but only once they’ve notified the police and only until the officer arrives.
Can a bouncer hit you?
When it comes to physical force, the law treats it as a measure of last resort. A bouncer can only use “minimum force” when a person fails to comply with repeated non-violent means.
Some bouncers in Malta often need little provocation, so please do yourself a favour and keep quiet and make your way out.
Who can be a bouncer?
Unlike the unlicensed man charged with the recent brutal beating, a bouncer is meant to have served a minimum of five years of service with either the police, the prison services, or as a private guard.
To acquire the license, each person must undergo a training course that aims to teach them how to “address difficult situations, insofar as possible without recourse to physical restraint” and “exercise minimum use of force in situations where the use of force is absolutely necessary”.
Unfortunately, despite the legislation, many bouncers in Paceville operate without a license. Much like last weekend’s horrific incident, six bouncers who beat up two men in 2017 where all without a license.
However, a court ruled that them all wearing black and standing outside the entrance of a club did not mean one could presume they were bouncers.