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Nightclub bouncers will be armed with “Smart Water” to tag drunks so they can be caught by police.

The hand-held forensic spray devices will be handed to security staff to curb the rising levels of anti-social behaviour in town centres.

Smart Water acts like a permanent marker - saving the door staff from having to chase the troublemakers.

Cops can later find those who have been sprayed and shine the UV light on them to show they were tagged.

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It comes after research found that violence and abuse against pub staff and bouncers rose dramatically following the Covid pandemic.

The roll-out to security staff follows a successful trial last October when bouncers in Hereford were armed with SmartTag.

The new 'smart water' comes after a spike in attacks on frontline workersSWNS

Pubs, bars and nightclubs across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, will now train staff to use the aerosol-style spray.

Sergeant Nick Hall, of West Mercia Police, said: “This is an exciting step in our continued efforts to challenge anti-social behaviour, keep people safe and protect them and staff from harm.

“This new technology and its deployment will help us to address some of the elements relating to anti-social behaviour which are seen especially in our night time economy and send a positive message to our communities that we are doing all we can to address their concerns.

“We will hand over the new equipment to those people responsible for keeping your pubs, bars and clubs safe places to relax and have fun and who often face a barrage of abuse and violence.

“By safely tagging individuals, officers patrolling the community can easily identify them and progress any required enforcement.”

Tyler Haines, who is deputy doorman at Play Nightclub in Hereford and whose team uses SmartTag said: “In January we attended an incident within our club where two men were very aggressive, assaulting door staff and assaulting customers.

“As the situation got unpredictable I took the decision to pull out SmartTag to deter the two men however, one man went to punch me and so SmartTag was deployed at them.

“Both men fled the scene and diffused the situation.”

The roll-out to bouncers comes after “Smart Water” sprays were given to 400 Co-op security guards after a spike in attacks against frontline staff.

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