A nightclub which prides itself as being the only alternative music venue in Croydon has been labelled a totalitarian venue because of its policy of scanning the fingerprints of clubbers.

The members-only Black Sheep Bar, which eschews music by the likes of Girls Aloud and Lily Allen in favour of indie, dubstep and metal nights, also requires clubbers to provide photo ID and personal details before they are allowed into the club.

Alternative website the Cyberpunk Tourist Guide described the requirements as exceeding “the most repressive of secret police surveillance state dystopias”, adding that even Winston Smith did not have to go through fingerprint scanning to buy his Victory Gin in George Orwell’s 1984.

But owner Paul Bossick defended the security measures, saying if people wanted out-of-control clubs they would have to start donning body armour.

He said: “We’ve had this system for four years, it’s not new.

“It’s only used as a security tool, we don’t try to tag on any marketing issues and we don’t share the data with anybody.

“It’s cut a lot of petty crime, bag and phone thieves that prey on the night-time economy.

“I think most people appreciate a venue that might seem quite hedonistic and chaotic, but is actually quite controlled and well managed.”

• What do you think? Let us know by email here, phone the newsdesk on 020 8330 9555 or leave a comment below.