‘Claim Back West Street’ aims to make Sheffield nightspot safer after drink spiking spate
A group of university students are on a mission to make a popular Sheffield nightspot safer amid increasing reports of drink spiking in the city.
'Claim Back West Street' is a campaign launched by five students at the University of Sheffield and is rapidly gaining momentum.
Hannah Youds, one of the campaigners, said they have set an eight-week deadline to fulfil their goals, which include creating safe areas in West Street bars, pushing hard for all West Street establishments to implement anti-spiking measures, and bringing Street Angels to Sheffield.
Street Angels are people who keep the community secure by patrolling a central location (such as a town or city centre) late at night, usually on a weekend night from 9pm to 3am.
She said: "This campaign is very important to us as we are students and frequently travel down West Street, seeing first-hand the worrying things that are taking place there not specifically at night, but even during the day too.
"From a personal perspective, when I and a fellow group member were speaking to people and finding out how they felt about West Street, we were approached by a man shouting strange things in our faces and instantly we felt threatened.
"On our Instagram page, we recently did a poll that revealed 93 per cent of people didn’t feel safe on West Street, while only the remaining seven per cent did. This in itself is a shocking statistic and we want to see an improvement when our aims come into place.
"We are urgently calling for MPs, councillors, organisations, leaders and residents in the city to back our campaign and with their support, we can create a safer area and claim back West Street for everyone.
"It seems a shame that such a major street in the city is so dreaded by many people and we want to change this."
Hannah said the campaign has received support from a West Street cocktail bar Bloo 88 and the University of Sheffield Students Union Welfare Committee.
Earlier this month, several students allegedly had their drinks tampered with on a night out at Sheffield Students’ Union venue.
According to Night Time Industry Association (NTIA), there had been a rise in drink-spiking throughout the UK over recent weeks.