Hereford bouncers to start spraying troublemakers

1/11/21: Story and photographs courtesy of Hereford Times www.herefordtimes.com

Trained bouncers will be able to spray troublemakers with SmartTag

BOUNCERS at Hereford’s pubs, bars and clubs will soon been spraying troublemakers so police can identify them easier.

West Mercia Police has launched the new SmartTag initiative at Saxty’s Bar in Widemarsh Street, showing how the spray should help make Hereford’s nightlife safer.

SmartTag is a water-based solution, created by Smart Water, which can be deployed by trained door staff.

Each bouncer’s spray has a unique forensic code. When an offender is sprayed, police will be able to use the code to link the offender back to a specific criminal incident.

Offenders can be identified by police officers and SmartTag trained door staff at other venues, using an ultraviolet (UV) torch.

While the smart water is invisible to the naked eye, it will glow red when a UV torch is shone on an offender’s clothing.

Edd Williams, Herefordshire Superintendent for West Mercia Police, said SmartTag is very much a deterrent.

He said: “We’ve been through a tough time over the past 18 months, anything we can do to make our nighttime economy safer, we will jump upon.

“It’s had great success in other parts of the country. It will target the people who cause trouble in our night-time establishments.”

Spray on clothes will shine red under the light of a Ultraviolet torch

Each venue that uses SmartTag will have a sign displayed, so that members of the public are aware. Trained door staff will also wear a SmartTag badge on their arm.

The new initiative has the support of Herefordshire Against Night-time Disorder (HAND), the pub watch scheme.

SmartTag is already used by a number of police forces across the country, including in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.