Stamp out Spiking sessions aim to help keep partygoers safe
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Officers in Stoke-on-Trent are delivering training to help raise awareness of drink-spiking, as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure people remain safe when visiting the area on a night out.
The Stamp out Spiking sessions educate staff at night-time venues in Hanley about the signs of spiking and how they can help prevent such offences.
The sessions are led by PC Natasha Egar, from the Stoke North local policing team (LPT), in conjunction with the office of the Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams, and the Partnership Against Business Crime in Staffordshire (PABCIS).
During the most recent session, staff from Fiction and Basement, both club venues in Hanley, were given awareness on what spiking is, how it occurs, the symptoms, consequences for businesses and actions to take.
PC Egar said: “We want Hanley to be a safe space where everyone can go out and enjoy themselves and spiking is something we have been working hard on in the town.
"Our aim is to ensure that venues are appropriately trained so that spiking is spotted and dealt with and that victims are referred to the correct agency.
“These sessions aren’t just about training venue staff, though; the key here is sharing good practise. By making sure they are spike aware, they are equipped to deal with and refer people who do become victims.
“For instance, if someone thinks they may have been sexually assaulted as a result of spiking, they can also go to their nearest sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for specialist care and support.
"They can self-refer if they are not ready to speak to police. Evidence will be saved for when the victim feels that they are ready to report the incident. Quickness is key as some drugs can leave a victim’s system in as little as four hours.”
Police, Crime, Fire & Rescue Commissioner Ben Adams is chair of the Violence Reduction Alliance.
He said: “In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the Violence Reduction Alliance – involving my office, the police, health service, local councils and more – is doing everything we can to increase people’s safety when enjoying nights out and to ensure they feel safer too.
“My office has successfully bid for over £6-million from government funding streams as part of Staffordshire’s preventative approach to reducing anti-social behaviour and violence. Some of this has been used to tackle spiking notably by raising the awareness of staff working in hospitality venues and those most at risk of being spiked.”
It can be difficult to know if someone has spiked you. The symptoms vary depending on what you have been spiked with. They can be similar to having excess alcohol.
If you start to feel strange or more drunk than you thought you should be, seek help straight away. If you feel seriously unwell, call 999, or ask someone to get you emergency medical assistance.
There is no right or wrong way to feel. Some victims need emergency medical assistance, others don't. Whatever your situation, we are here for you.