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What Can be Done to Protect People from Spiking?

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Nightclubs and bars throughout the UK are this week facing organised boycotts in response to a recent surge in people being “spiked” on their nights out. Police forces throughout the UK, from Exeter, Nottingham, London and elsewhere, are investigating multiple reports of people being injected with needles. In this blog post we look at the challenges faced by venues and what people can do to stay safe.

A recent statement from the National Police Chiefs’ Council highlights 200 drink spiking incidents reported to UK police forces over just the most recent two month period (September and October). The victims have included both men and women, although the majority of cases involved young women.

Sadly, the UK has been experiencing a disturbing increase in violence against women and recent incidents in which victims have reported being injected with needles are extremely alarming. The first report was made on October 2nd to Nottinghamshire Police who are now investigating 12 similar cases and police forces throughout the UK are investigating a number of related cases. Priti Patel, the home secretary, has asked UK police forces to urgently assess the scale of spiking incidents after reports of recent escalation in the number of cases and severity of the attacks.

Nightclub Boycotts

Reports of spiking through injection have significantly escalated the level of fear amongst women and girls throughout the UK. Reports of people being injected while waiting in nightclub queues and inside various venues have prompted students to call for tighter nightclub security. Clubbers have stated that the sinister escalation from the possibility of drinks being spiked to potentially being injected with a poison has created a new level of fear.

Students and others are now planning to boycott nightclubs. ‘Girls night in’ groups have been formed in cities across the UK due to the worrying surge in the number of injection incidents. They are encouraging women to stay home as many feel unsafe in nightclubs which they say aren’t doing enough for their security.

Drink Spiking Prevention

Devices to help clubbers (and venues) prevent their drinks from being spiked have been available for some time. They include drink spiking prevention scrunchies, silicone glass covers and reusable metal straws attached to caps and covers.

While these simple devices can be effective in preventing drinks being tampered with, they obviously can’t protect clubbers from being injected with needles.

What Can Nightclubs Do?

The nightclub industry is keen to assure students and club-goers that nightclubs and bars are safe to visit. Their insurers have provided some useful tips and guidance to help venues introduce measures to keep their customers safe.

Thorough Searches on Entry

One of the most popular suggestions and recommendations is for those entering nightclubs to undergo more thorough searches. Those in the industry already know from experience that searches do not prevent illegal drugs from getting into premises, but they can act as a deterrent.

handheld scanning
Handheld Scanning Technique

 

High quality Handheld Metal Detectors and Metal Detector Mitts are useful devices for door security personnel to quickly scan clubbers for weapons or drugs wrapped in foil. But even the best of these devices will not detect a hypodermic needle.

 

random search selector
Random Search Selector

Another useful tool for those responsible for door security is our Random Search Selector. This simple device takes the guesswork and potential for accusations of bias and discrimination out of the process of selecting people for more thorough searches. The possibility of being subjected to a thorough body search can be a powerful deterrent to anyone who may attempt to carry needles or drugs into a venue.

Needle Proof Gloves can be used by door staff when conducting thorough pocket and bag searches to protect them from being spiked.

Defined Action Plans

Venues need to have clearly defined action plans to enable them to deal with spiking incidents and visitors who may be worried about being drugged. Night clubs and bars should have safe, secure spaces that can be used by anyone who may suspect they have been attacked.

Medically Trained Staff

Having staff who are trained in how to deal with someone who has been drugged and liaise with medical professionals is very beneficial for all venues. They should be able to recognise symptoms, provide front line first aid and call the ambulance service when required.

Re-Train Staff

As well as having members of staff who are medically trained its important that all staff are fully aware of the action plan and what to do in response to reports of drug ingestion. There should be clearly defined procedures to enable all staff members to deal with incidents swiftly and effectively.

What to Do if You Think You’ve Been Drugged

Awareness of what to do if you think you may have been drugged can help prevent accidents and further assaults.

Talk to Someone You Trust Immediately

The first thing a person should do if they suspect they may have been drugged is to tell someone they trust. The trusted person should be able to monitor the effects of the poison, provide protection and report the incident to those responsible for security at the venue.

Quickly Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water is vitally important regardless of how the poisonous drug was administered. Dehydration takes place as the human body absorbs the drug and drinking water helps flush drugs out of the system.

Note the Time

Be sure to take note of the time the incident occurred or when symptoms were initially experienced and share this information with the trusted person. Text messaging to yourself can help as these are time stamped. Noting the time when effects were being experienced will help medical professionals in estimating when the drug was administered.

Get Medical Attention Immediately

Don’t be tempted to simply go home and sleep it off. Not knowing for certain what the drug was, how much has been ingested, what the effects might be or whether an allergic reaction may occur requires immediate medical attention. You need to go to hospital where tests can be carried out and your condition will be closely monitored.

Never go Anywhere Alone

Remember that if you have been drugged its likely that the person responsible is watching you. They drugged you for a reason and will possibly be waiting for their opportunity. This is why its essential to immediately tell someone who can be trusted so they can protect and take care of you.

If you need to go outside for fresh air or visit the bathroom make certain you go with someone you trust. If someone you don’t know offers to help, don’t go with them.

Tell the Police

Its essential that all incidents are reported to the police. Seeking medical attention should be the first priority but its important that the police are alerted as soon as possible to enable them to conduct an immediate investigation.

Alert Management and Security

Its essential that those responsible for management and security at the venue are alerted. This vital information may help prevent others from suffering an attack.

Take Time to Recover Safely

Its essential that medical guidance regarding how to recover from a spiking attack is followed.

Being spiked with mystery drugs is a frightening and potentially life-changing experience which can cause significant mental and emotional distress. Recovery will often require psychological help to talk through the experience and rebuild confidence.

If you have any questions about nightclub security remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.

This message was added on Thursday 28th October 2021

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