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Victims of drink spiking and injections urged to report incidents to police for investigation

Police advice to licensees about the recent spate of reports about drink spiking and injection incidents is contained in the Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI), which venues are being encouraged to use to improve their safety and security for the benefit of staff and customers.

The initiative started its national roll out on the 15 October to 300 venues in West Yorkshire where it is being funded by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and delivered with support from the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.

Mark Morgan, Business Manager of Licensing SAVI, and a former police Superintendent, said the focus for venues in response to national headlines about drink tampering and injections should be about providing a proportionate response to reassure customers. “Staff have a key role to play when it comes to promoting safety and keeping vulnerable customers safe,” he said.

NPCC Lead for Drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said: “Police forces are investigating incidents and continue to work with pubs and clubs to increase searches and guidance to staff. We will continue to analyse the reports and work with police forces, plus other law enforcement partners including the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs), as investigations develop to build a problem profile and determine any further action by police or venues.

“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking, in any form, to contact their local police force. Any reports of spiking will be investigated and taken seriously. You should try and report it to police as quickly as possible to help officers carry out tests and gather the best evidence.”


Police advice to licensed venues includes:
- display prominent signage to remind customers not to leave drinks unattended and not to accept drinks from strangers
- train staff in the danger of drinks being spiked and encouraging them to monitor unattended drinks
- make staff aware of the necessity to provide immediate assistance to customers feeling dizzy, disorientated or showing signs of intoxication
- provide stopper devices, such as lids, to prevent drinks being spiked
- call police immediately if drink spiking is suspected.

Licensees that have concerns about drug injections should:
- review their policy on door searches and consider specifying a ‘condition of entry’ whereby customers enter the premises on the condition that security staff are permitted to search them. If consent is refused, customers should be refused entry
- display signage to explain venue search policy and encourage customers to understand that you are taking steps to keep them safe and deter offences. They are likely to be on board already having seen some of the national headlines.

Alison Lowe, West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “It is particularly shocking to hear of this trend emerging on both a local and national level. Women should be able to go out and enjoy themselves without fearing for their safety, it’s as simple as that.”


Licensing SAVI

About Police CPI
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police-owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives to support the UK Police Service, Government and the public. Senior police officers control and direct the work Police CPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.

Police CPI and the Women’s Night Safety Charter
As part of its commitment to providing safer and more secure bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels through Licensing SAVI, Police CPI has signed up to the Women’s Night Safety Charter, which seeks to make London a place where women feel ‘confident and welcome’ at night. It means Police CPI will actively support the Charter’s seven pledges and encourage other businesses and organisations in the capital to join in to tackle violence against women.