25
- July
2018
Posted By : regionadmin
What it’s like to be… a female security guard

“I’ve been punched in the face, pushed down the stairs, and screamed at,” says security guard Kirsty Gilling. “It’s just part of my job.” Kirsty has been in the security industry for 17 years. Now 35, she  lives in Canterbury and has worked as a bouncer, a celebrity guard and in-house security at Sainsbury’s. “You would think a supermarket would be safer than a club,” she says. “But it was there that something really bad happened.” Two years ago, Kirsty saw a man take a bottle off the shelf and put it down his trousers. “I tried to stop him, and he said, ‘Let me go, or I’ll stab you’, says Kirsty. “So then I definitely wasn’t going to let him go. I didn’t know where this weapon was. I pinned him to the floor and saw he was holding a syringe – but there was no needle so I thought it was just a scare tactic.” The police arrived, the man was taken away, and Kirsty went outside to have a cigarette. “That’s when I saw the needle stuck in my leg,” she says. “Realising what it might mean was one of the most frightening moments of my life.” Several months later, Kirsty was given the all-clear. “I had tests for HIV and hepatitis,” she says. “The moment the phone starting ringing when my results came through was terrifying.”

Kirsty continued working. “It was a distraction,” she says, “and, after 17 years of fighting to be taken seriously, I didn’t want to stop because of something that happened to me.” Kirsty was 18 when she got her first security job. “In those days, I was a glorified toilet attendant,” she says. “Before I started my first job, the head doorman showed me around the club and said, ‘we only need a female here to check the toilets’. “A few years later, I remember working on the door with a man – a proper old school doorman – and he kept saying people like me shouldn’t be working in security, that it was a job for men. Things that in another industry would be really unacceptable in the early 2000s. “In the end, I helped him when he struggling with another man and he admitted he was wrong.”

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/what-its-like-to-be-a-female-security-guard/

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