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Campaign to highlight drink spiking launched

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Gloucestershire Police is working with nightclubs and pubs across the county to launch an anti-drink spiking initiative.

The anti-drink spiking campaign which launches today, Wednesday, aims to help target the nationwide issue and numerous key licenced premises and nightclubs have signed up to take part. 

These night time venues have recently been provided with specialist anti-drink spiking test swab kits which allow for drinks to be tested if someone feels that their drink has been tampered with. 

Training has been given to staff and a number of police officers around how to use the test cup kits to ensure there is a robust procedure in place.

This will allow customers in these venues who suspect that their drink may have been tampered with or ‘spiked’ to get peace of mind in knowing it has been tested for traces of drugs. 

Nationally statistics show that women between the ages of 18 and 50 are commonly targeted however this campaign is aimed at people of all genders and ages. 

There was a huge reduction in incidents due to establishments being closed during the Coronavirus pandemic however incidents are now starting to rise again with people recently being affected in Cheltenham and Gloucester.

This is thought to be linked to the higher number of night time economy premises in the areas. David McFarlane, head of Police Licensing said: “Our licensed premises in the county are extremely safe and this is another major initiative to reassure and improve the customer experience.

“We do get very few spiking incidents reported but it is important to us that we get an accurate picture of the problem, can raise awareness and give victims the support they require. 

“The welfare of the person involved is our main concern and cases where a drink has been spiked will be investigated. The measures being brought in aim to give venues the tools they need to help ensure the safety of their patrons and for our officers to be better equipped to assist at the earliest opportunity.” 

More information on drink spiking can be found here: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/drink-spiking-and-date-rape-drugs/

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