‘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.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 2:12 am

'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.

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The students behind 'Claim Back West Street' campaign

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.

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"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.

'Claim Back West Street' aims to make the popular Sheffield nightspot a safer place to visit (file pic: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire)

"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.

The group can be reached on Instagram and Twitter.