Bouncers from Brighton nightclub Event II have taken part in a special 'charm school' training session.

The course, organised in conjunction with the police and licensing authorities, brings door staff up to date with the latest laws, control techniques and safety issues.

Ken Hargreaves, head of the Event II door team, said staff had been encouraged to find alternatives to physical skills and learn how to read body language, defuse potential incidents and deal with abuse and provocation.

He said: "Doormen can be on the receiving end of some fairly abusive verbal comments.

"They can come under a lot of pressure from customers and we can be unfairly accused of many things, including discrimination. This sort of thing is covered in our course, so door staff can be given pointers as to how to react in difficult situations.

"Sometimes customers don't realise we really are acting in their best interests."

The course also includes first aid and gives staff a chance to see how specially-trained sniffer dogs are used.

Club Manager Luke Bendall said the course was part of on-going training for all its staff.

He said: "I think it also shows we don't have stereotypical doormen who rely purely on physical restraint. It is about the psychological side and talking to people. Our customers' safety is paramount."

Chris Tremain, regional manager for Luminar Leisure, which owns Event II, said: "We pride ourselves on having one of the best door teams in the area and want to keep it that way."