Be a Gateway not a Barrier

Tony Security Leave a Comment

This is a much shorter piece than usual and is a written explanation of the video from our Youtube channel below.

The discussion is around the actual role of security in a location and some of the false perceptions that exist. These false perceptions come from both inside and outside of the industry.

Whats with the title?

The title of “Be a Gateway not a Barrier” is my theory on how the industry should work. We are commonly seen as the person who stops bad things happening. The person who tells people what they can’t do and where they can’t go. We are commonly seen as a Barrier. Part of this is the nature of the job but a part of it also a lack of understanding of the principles of security and risk. We aren’t there to always be the barrier to people, stop people enjoying themselves or doing what they want. We can also be the gateway to people having a great time or doing why they wanted to do but safely.

The Gateway

Understanding risk is key to this theory. If we don’t understand risk we are frightened by it and we turn to standard answers. When you understand all of the elements of the risk that go with your job you come a business enabler. The doors are probably the most obvious area where this happens. Many people assume that the role of a door supervisor is to keep bad people out. In fact that’s only a small part. The main role of a door supervisor is to make the good people feel safe and be safe. Safe people are happy people and happy people come back. This works regardless of whether you are in doors or retail or anywhere we interact with the public.


What we should realise at this stage is that safety and security is not everybody’s first priority or area of expertise. The customer doesn’t understand nor do they care why they can’t stand in the leave their coats on the dance floor or take a glass out dancing. The visual merchandising staff don’t care or understand why they can’t put the €500 handbag on display inside the door. It’s up to us to educate them and make it safe for them.

The language

Sometimes it’s in the language we use. We tend to focus on negative language around what people can’t do or where they can’t go. Taking the time to think about the language we use in risk situations. Focussing more on how we can make things happen safely and less about what can’t happen.


I hope the title makes a little more sense now. If we continue to create a negative perception of our industry then that’s how we will be perceived. By a little shift in thinking the security function can be a real asset to any business. When we become what security was always meant to be we can support the business to achieve its aims safely. Means more work for us all at the end of the day. I hope you enjoy the video.

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