Ladies; Could what you are carrying in your handbags get you into trouble?


Social media has been bombarded with ‘sponsored’ adverts from companies all over the world, offering items that may, at first thought, be an ideal purchase or present For you or someone else in your life. These include ‘kitty style knuckle dusters (see picture above), mini kubotan key chains, folding knives that retract into an innocent looking key ring etc. A generic police definition of what constitutes an offensive weapon is,

”Any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him, or by some other person.”

Possession of an offensive weapon is still illegal in Britain regardless of whether clever marketing states that it is a key ring or not. Weapons such as knuckle dusters, kubotans (Japanese short metal baton held in the hand, using both ends to apply a strike) and the like are MADE for causing injury. The sellers of these items will promote them as a keychain first and foremost but they are still illegal to possess in public.


(One of the many styles of ‘Kubotan’ on the market being advertised as a keychain, but, if used properly, can cause serious injury to the person).

Let us get back to the typical handbag.

On a night out or a day at a festival, what do you carry, apart from cash, credit cards and mobile phone?

Often now, at Jersey festivals, where search upon entry procedures are carried out, your ticket sets out the terms and conditions of entry. This will include the obvious as in no alcohol, no drugs, no offensive weapons etc. It may also stop people bringing in their own furniture (folding chairs, benches etc.). More and more now it also states that you cannot bring in perfume bottles and aerosols ie deodorant in spray form. While under normal circumstances, deodorants and perfumes are used in the conventional sense, these items could also be used as weapons (ANY ARTICLE ‘INTENDED’ FOR USE AS AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON) either by spraying them in people’s faces or by using a lighter with either to create a mini flame-thrower. At the last festival that I worked on, we could have filled a perfumery with the amount of bottles that we had to relieve people of, despite the terms and conditions being quite clearly set out.

There are also times that people have returned to Jersey on the boat from France having quite innocently purchased Mace** or a similar spray for use as a self defence deterrent. Unfortunately, this type of spray is illegal to possess in Jersey (and the rest of Great Britain) as well as being illegal to import.

Mace (Chemical Mace) was the first of its type to be produced but there are now many derivatives available on the market through internet sellers. Check your country’s laws on possession before committing to buying these products online.

**Mace is the genericised trademark of Chemical Mace, the brand name of an early type of aerosol self-defence spray invented by Allan Lee Litman in 1965. The first commercial product of its type, Litman’s design packaged phenacyl chloride (CN) tear gas dissolved in hydrocarbon solvents into a small aerosol spray can, usable in almost any environment and strong enough (when sprayed in the face) to act as a credible deterrent and incapacitant. Its popularity led to the brand name being shortened to simply “Mace” for all defense sprays (regardless of the composition). 

(taken from the Wikipedia webpage on MACE)


Let us look at the three designations that form the basis of the offensive weapons Law.

On a website for a legal firm Lawton’s Law ( they set it our as follows:

What is classified as an offensive weapon in UK law?

The law recognises three categories of offensive weapon:

Those where objects are MADE for use for causing injury to the person. These items are legally classified as ‘offensive weapons per se’ and include flick knives, kitchen knives**, butterfly knives, pepper sprays, knuckle dusters, Kubotans (ed.) and nunchaku (rice flails as used in the Bruce Lee film ‘Enter the Dragon – ed.)

Those where objects are ADAPTED for such a purpose, i.e. to cause injury to a person. This includes items that would otherwise be incapable of causing injury but have been changed so that they now can, for example a sock containing a snooker ball, a sharpened stick or a sharpened snooker cue, a baseball bat with nails added or a water pistol filled with acid.

Those where objects are not so made or adapted but carried with the INTENTION of causing injury to the person, for example a cup of bleach carried with the intent of throwing it into someone’s face to cause injury, sharpened nail scissors or a baseball bat.


(The late actor, Bruce Lee, in a scene from ‘Enter the Dragon’, using nunchaku also commonly known as rice flails, as they were originally used in rice farming)

Most items in your handbag are innocuous and are essential to one’s personal carry every day. If you are unsure whether an item that you wish to purchase could be classified as an offensive weapon and that by being in possession of it, you may fall foul of the law, contact your local police station and ask.

Or simply contact me, the Urban Warrior Princess, at and I can advise you.

Security at Private After Prom Parties


Over the last couple of decades another American institution, the School Prom, has made it across the ‘pond’ to Britain. In Jersey each year, educational establishments ditched the old style school ‘disco’, for glitzy affairs in hotels and party venues. It is to be noted that some schools do still use their own halls that they transform into the prom venue.

Every year the parents of teenagers worry about financing,what has become, a huge money spinner for venues, vehicle hire, clothes shops, hair dressers, nail technicians and spray tan companies. Although, for the boys, the clothing has fairly narrow parameters, for the girls; the sky is the limit. Once their parents have bought the ‘dream dress’, not forgetting matching shoes and clutch bag, many students will opt for expensive hair styles, spray tans, nail art and their mode of transport. Some families will club together on transport ie vintage coach or vehicles that can carry more than one set of prom students, but for some, the aspirations can be much higher such as a high performance super car, military tank and troop transporters etc.; some have been known, in the UK, to have arrived by helicopter.

When the students arrive, they are often met by crowds of pupils, teachers and interested bystanders, especially if in a town central location. These prom pictures then adorne the local media for weeks after and every attendee is treated like a red carpet star.

It is not, however, the prom itself that can cause the problems. Over the years, an event that can be as important, for many of the prom goers, is the ‘AFTER PARTY”. Often held on private premises, these smaller peer groups carry on partying well into the night after they have finished the school run event. Some companies offer security coverage for such after parties, however, there is a heavy demarcation line between the official duties of a qualified door security supervisor, operating on licensed premises under the current Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974, and a ‘Security Operative’ engaged on private unlicensed premises.


On private premises that may have alcohol on them, but do not operate under the Licensing Law, the qualified and badged security operatives have absolutely no jurisdiction. In fact, in my opinion, one should not be wearing a door security badge or SIA (Security Industry Authority) badge (in the UK), while undertaking a private premises security assignment, as this falls outside the terms of reference of one’s licence under the Police run scheme.** In fact, a parent or guardian could actually ask anybody to act as a security operative (ie friend, colleague, relative etc.) as they would have as much power, or actually lack of power, than a ‘badged’ operative in these circumstances.

**Under the Terms & Conditions of the Jersey Door Registration Scheme (JDRS) it states, in the first article (1):

A Door Supervisor is:
“A person employed on licensed premises to regulate and supervise patrons on those premises and to assist the Licensee, his servants or agents, in the maintenance of good order, ensuring public safety and security.”

(Excerpt taken from the official website of the States of Jersey Police)

There is no CIVIL TRESPASS law in Jersey, which means security personnel have no power to eject anyone, even if the householder has ‘given’ them ‘authority’. The authority is meaningless under the Licensing Law. It is to be noted that parents often seek out qualified door staff for peace of mind, in that the people employed are trained personnel, however that doesn’t change the fact that, in these circumstances, they have no ‘legal’ teeth.

There have been known to be after parties that have been left in the hands of ‘appointed adults’ where the parents have gone out for the night and stayed over in a hotel to give their teenage children and their peers some space. Some gatherings (not specifically prom after parties), where teenagers were left to party without adults in attendance (parents or other adults), have resulted in tragic circumstances, caused by consumption of alcohol or illicit substances. So there is an appetite for some adult attendance in or around the venue of a private party but there is very little that a registered security supervisor can do in a legal sense without delving into a minefield of potential problems, such as:

Children under the age of eighteen drinking intoxicating liquor on private premises

There is no law that prevents children under the age of eighteen consuming alcohol within the boundaries of a private premises. Therefore, as a security operative at a teen event on private premises, you have no legal jurisdiction and cannot remove alcohol from any child, nor can you eject anyone or, most importantly, lay your hands on anybody (unless in self defence or the defence of another). You cannot control their behaviour or anything else that they might get up to. In effect; you are impotent as a security guard.

Party goers consuming and/or dealing in illicit substances

There have been occasions when children under eighteen years of age have taken illegal drugs at private house parties. Most parties on private premises do not have ‘security’ but, think of the position this puts anyone working as such at one of these private parties. Some of these gatherings have had tragic outcomes such as the case in the death of Victoria College student Morgan Huelin.


What would you do if you came across a child at a private party, while operating as a private security supervisor, who was in possession of what you suspected to be illegal drugs? You are not a police officer. You have no authority under the JDRS. You literally have nothing. You cannot lay your hands on them or force them to hand the substance over, or even physically eject them. However; what about if you did take possession of an illegal substance at one of these parties? They may have been willing to hand them over. You are now in possession of an illegal substance under the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978, unless you can show that you were on your way immediately to the Police to hand it over and to explain to them how you came by the drugs or, you may decide to go to the bathroom and flush them down the toilet. 

Under Article 8(1) of the Misuse of Drugs (Jersey) Law 1978, which covers ‘Restrictions on possession of controlled drugs’ it states:

Subject to the provisions of any Order for the time being in force under Article 12, it is an offence for a person to have a controlled drug in his or her possession.

What would happen, do you suspect, if you had taken some illegal drugs off a child, put them in your pocket for safe keeping, then went home after your shift while forgetting all about them being in your possession?

I suspect that you would have some explaining to do if stopped by law enforcement, at a later date, and the drugs were found in your possession. Forgetting about them is not an option.

Gate Crashers

As has been documented many times on social media and in the mainstream press over the last twenty years, especially in the UK, private parties are often ‘advertised’ on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. by teenagers who start by inviting their friends, but then, friends invite their friends and before you know it, a small house party turns into a full on ‘rave’ with people turning up from all over the county and beyond. These people force their way into the premises and often trash the house. On many occasions, the parents or owners of the house are out of town.

Party goers who become drunk or violent

As previously stated, if party goers become drunk and/or violent, a private security supervisor would only be able to physically intervene or restrain someone if it was proved that their actions were necessary for their own self defence or for the protection of others. It would also be doubtful if any personal liability insurance, whether personal or corporate, would cover you operating at private dwellings.

Party goers who leave the premises with alcohol (glasses, bottles etc)

Party goers will often wander off the private premises with alcohol in hand. You have no legal powers to remove that alcohol from anyone. This action only applies to door staff when they are working on a licensed premises as a badged operative and are preventing customers from leaving said licensed premises with alcohol, served in open containers, meant for consumption on the premises. Some public houses can serve as an off licence in Jersey, if they hold a 6th Category licence under the law, along with their 1st Category Taverners licence, selling unopened bottles of alcohol to patrons for consumption ‘off’ the premises. 

Filming of party goers on bordyworn security cameras (especially those under eighteen)

Alcohol / drugs / teenagers / security staff; not a good combination. For those working in this environment, one might consider, as many do on licensed premises, to wear and operate a body-worn camera. This may on the surface be a good decision, especially if you are to protect yourself against possible accusations of improper behaviour made by a young party goer. However, cameras and children under age are rarely a good mix, especially in a private setting.

Laying your hands on another person (unless for self defence purposes or in defence of another)

You are leaving yourself open to complaints of assault if you felt the need, at a private party, while working as a security operative, to lay your hands on another person. You have a defence, however it is no different to the general defence used by members of the public, door security supervisors acting within the Licensing Law and police officers, which is that you are only allowed to use as much force as is necessary and proportionate in the circumstances; the Law of Self Defence. You also, of course, have a right to defend your person under the Human Rights Law ie. The right to life.

Although definitions within the police service have changed over the years, I still prefer my 1982 definition of an assault (from Ashford Police Training College in Kent), which is:

An attempt, threat or offer, by some physical act, to inflict unlawful force upon another, with the apparent ability to carry it out.



I am not here to tell people what jobs they should take and people will continue wanting ‘security’ at their private premises parties, and there will still be door security willing to take these assignments. My words of caution are when you mix prom age after party children (under eighteen years of age), birthday parties etc. with alcohol and possible illicit substances, it is not a good mix. While 99.9% of these events may go off without incident, it will be that 0.1% that could be your downfall and may lead to your loss of liberty.

The most important tool in a security operative’s arsenal is communication, both verbal and non-verbal (body language – reading and use of). Conflict management may be a buzzword among trainers but, it is worthy of greater study by people working in all customer facing roles and that includes door security supervisors. Much can be achieved by correct use of verbal and non-verbal communication when engaging with others and, in most circumstances, should prevent you having to introduce physical intervention or control and restraint as your tools of choice.

As a character in former Police drama series, Hill Street Blues, Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (actor Michael Conrad) used to say to his officers before they went out on duty:    















Are people like The Loop the way forward in the war on drugs


As mentioned in the previous article, the war on drugs has been being waged for nearly one hundred years, and the news media is still churning out disturbing story after story of drug crimes, gun and knife murders due to the drug gangs and their associates and misery encircling the globe for those addicted to these substances, which includes the families caught up in the whole drug culture, whether directly or as ‘collateral damage’ when a loved one dies from either from an overdose or by falling foul to their dealers or someone higher up the food chain.

I worked as a drug squad officer in the early 90s but in recent times the whole drugs culture and the violence and death surrounding it appears to have increased aggressively. A small ‘slight’ towards the ‘wrong’ face from a particular drugs gang in the United Kingdom at the moment, will most likely get you stabbed or shot and these gangs can get an ‘assassin’ from anywhere to do the job at a very cheap price. The movies might portray professional hitmen (and hitwomen; let us not be sexist) as being a ‘hit for hire’, paying thousands but, in reality, someone will happily do the job these days for a supply of drugs or for less than the price of a good meal at a restaurant. Even the gun is most likely loaned out for a price, just like renting a movie DVD; being returned to the hirer after the hit before the weapon resurfaces in another part of the country. It really is turning into a WAR.

Governments have to pull there heads out of the collective sand and deal with this problem in a different way as, up until now, the standard ways are failing and more people are dying than ever before. You will never eradicate illegal drug activity; sadly that is part of the fabric of world society today. However, out of despair, some countries have started to get creative and look at different ways to tackle the War on Drugs. In the United Kingdom in 2013 a new charity was set up, called THE LOOP ( In their ‘About Us’ page they quote,

“The Loop is a not for profit Community Interest Company established in 2013 which provides drug safety testing, welfare and harm reduction services at nightclubs, festivals and other leisure events. 

We also provide staff training on drugs awareness, in-house welfare service delivery, the prevention of drug related harm at events, and the delivery of ethical ‘front of house’ drug safety testing services.”

They further state:

“The Loop, a not for profit NGO, introduced forensic drug testing for public safety at nightclubs in autumn 2013 (at the Warehouse Project) and at festivals in summer 2014 (at Parklife). This testing has been characterized as ‘halfway house’ testing because it involves testing substances of concern obtained from on-site services including (primarily) police and security seizures on the door and inside the venue; amnesty bin contents; and also to a lesser extent substances given to the testers by medical, welfare and cleaning services on site. Results are disseminated to emergency services and staff on site and, where appropriate, to the wider public via on-site signage and social media. On site testing is carried out by a team of experienced volunteer chemists through The Loop and under the guidance of Fiona Measham, Director of The Loop and Professor of Criminology in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University.”

(taken from the website of The Loop,

The Loop, in 2016, approached various music festival organisers in the UK and Police Forces in those areas to put their ‘legal testing of illegal substances’ initiative forward to them. The Loop would set up a non judgmental drug testing facility on a music festival site and offer to test a small sliver of festival goers substances without fear of arrest, so that they could analyse it, determine the strength of the drug and identify the component parts. The festival goer would then return for the results and after a brief counseling session, could then make an informed choice as to whether they consume that drug or dispose of it.


(Above is a generic picture of security searching festival goers’ bags at a Festival. This picture is NOT associated with The Loop charity)

The Loop are now regularly seen at UK festivals.

One of The Loop’s training offerings is a certificated one day course for those working or associated with the ‘Night Time Economy’, which include public houses, nightclubs, festivals and other licensed venues. Their website sets out the course content (below) and what can be achieved:

Responding to Drug Use in the Night Time Economy

Badge of Excellence Course

This one day training programme is aimed at people who work in bars, nightclubs and festivals who come into contact with people who use drugs recreationally. It will cover basic drug awareness including the risks of drug use, legal issues and identifying and responding to drug related issues in the Night Time Economy (NTE)

The course has been developed in conjunction with The Specialist Services Network Occupational Development and Training Team at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and has been awarded a Badge of Excellence by Open Awards in recognition of the high standard of course content and delivery methods.


The aim of the course is to support participants to ensure the safety of their customers attending their events in relation to drug related harm

The Learning Outcomes are for participants to be able to:

  • Understand what is meant by the term “recreational drug use” and why people use these drugs.
  • Understand the effects and risks of recreational drugs commonly used in NTE venues.
  • Examine the scope of current legislation relating to drugs commonly used in the NTE.
  • Identify drug related problems faced by staff organising and working in NTE venues.
  • Identify a range of appropriate harm reduction responses to drug related problems in the NTE.

Anyone who completes this one day course will receive a Badge of Excellence certificate of completion from Open Awards.

The Loop’s Trainers

The Loop’s trainers have a wide range of training experience. They hold relevant training qualifications and have front line understanding and experience in relation to drugs awareness and welfare provision.

For further information on any of the above courses, or to have a discussion on bespoke courses, prices and availability please contact us below.

(Taken from the website of The Loop,


Jersey are delighted to announce that two trainers from The Loop (includes Head of Training Eddie Scoullar), are coming to take the above course, ‘Responding to Drug Use in the Night Time Economy’, on Friday 17th August. It is hoped to include interested parties from local government, security, police, youth service, health services etc.

If people In Jersey are interested in attending (cost £99 per head), please contact me as soon as possible at

Course Details:

Friday 17th August 2018; at the Embassy Club, 28 Halkett Place, St. Helier. 9am start (prompt) until 4pm.   Cost: £99 per head. Only 20 places left.


(A room at the Embassy Club Jersey, 28 Halkett Place, St. Helier)