Nightclub bouncers will be armed with Smart Water to tag drunken yobs so they can be caught by police.

The hand-held forensic spray devices will be handed to security staff to curb anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

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

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

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

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

Tyler Haines, deputy doorman at Play Nightclub 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.”

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

Sergeant Nick Hall 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 nighttime 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.”

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.