- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security Awards
Drink spiking within licensed premises is of real concern when there is such a focus upon the safety of women and girls, says Mark Morgan. He runs the new Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI). It was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned company that works on such crime reduction schemes as Secured by Design.
Mark, pictured, says: “There are simple steps which can be taken to avoid this, from venues displaying prominent signage reminding customers not to leave their drinks unattended and not to accept drinks from strangers; training all staff in the danger of drinks being spiked and encouraging them to monitor unattended drinks; making all staff aware of the necessity to provide immediate assistance to any customer feeling dizzy, disorientated or showing signs of intoxication and if anyone is acting suspiciously around unattended drinks asking them to leave immediately or calling the police immediately if drink spiking is suspected. Venues should also consider providing stopper devices, such as lids to put on drinking vessels, which can reduce the risk of a drink being spiked.
“For customers, if your drink has been spiked, it’s unlikely that you’ll see, smell or taste any difference, albeit some drugs may taste slightly salty or smell unusual. If you start to feel strange or feel that your drink has had more of an effect on you than it should have, get help immediately. Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol, particularly when in unfamiliar surroundings as you could make risky decisions and become less aware of potential danger. Never leave your drink unattended and keep an eye on your friends’ drinks.
“Be careful about accepting a drink from someone you don’t know. Think about drinking bottled drinks and avoiding shared drinks such as punch bowls or cocktail jugs. Please don’t provide personal details, especially your address to someone you’ve just met. You should plan your nights out and travel arrangements, using only recognised travel routes and providers.
“If you think your drink has been tampered with, don’t drink it – tell a trusted friend, relative, medic, police or someone you completely trust immediately. If alone, call someone you trust and get to a safe place. If you need urgent help, call 999. Be wary of accepting help from a stranger and don’t leave with someone you don’t know. If you feel unwell, someone you trust should take you to your nearest A & E department and tell the medical staff that you think your drink has been spiked, being sure to arrange for a trusted friend or relative to take you home and if necessary, stay with you until any drugs have fully left your system.”