Nightlife: how Sheffield authorities are tackling drink spiking

Sheffield’s anti-spiking partnership has been busy in its first six months of operation providing thousands of bottle stoppers and toppers to venues across the city.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:05 pm

The partnership consists of both Sheffield universities and students’ unions, Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council.

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It was set up in December 2021 in response to a rise in reports of drinks being spiked in night venues.

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Drink spiking.

Councillor Angela Argenzio, co-chair of the adult social care committee, said the council, Sheffield BID and South Yorkshire Police had provided 40,000 drinks toppers and 15,000 anti-spike bottle stoppers to more than 50 licensed venues across the city.

She said: “The partnership is raising awareness of spiking in venues and its main message is that spiking is a crime and one that can have heavy consequences, with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

“The latest data does not suggest that we have a widespread problem with drink spiking in Sheffield, but we hope that providing venues with a stock of anti-drink spiking resources will help to make their customers feel reassured that any safety concerns are being taken seriously.

“We are reassured to see venues working hard to keep people safe on nights out and to see partners working well together on this. We are seeing increased searches at venue doors, safe places for people who need them on a night out, extra training for staff and venues are purchasing their own stocks of anti-spiking devices.”

Sheffield’s anti-spiking partnership has been busy in its first six months of operation providing thousands of bottle stoppers and toppers to venues across the city.

As well as the toppers and stoppers, the partnership has distributed anti-spiking printed and digital posters, one aimed at friends of those who may have been spiked and one aimed at perpetrators.

The council said a social media campaign was being developed for student halls too.

What to do if your friend is spiked

The advice being given to anyone who thinks their friend has been spiked is to stay with them, keep talking to them, seek medical assistance, call an ambulance if their condition worsens, inform a member of the venue staff and report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency, or report it online.

The council added: “It’s important not to let them go home on their own or let them leave with someone you don’t trust and to let them know about their options for receiving support, such as the report and support service at both universities.”