Symptoms can vary depending on the size and height of the person, type and amount of drug or alcohol used or how much alcohol was consumed prior to the incident. Here’s some things to look out for:
TOGETHER WE CAN STOP DRINK SPIKING
WHAT IS DRINK SPIKING?
Spiking is when someone adds alcohol or drugs to another person’s drink without their knowledge or consent. It is a criminal offence.
Spiking by injection is when a needle is used to inject drugs into a person without their knowledge or consent and is also a criminal offence.
People slipping prescription or illegal drugs into a drink (such as benzodiazepines, amphetamines or GHB – also called liquid ecstasy)
WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?
SYMPTOMS OF DRINK SPIKING
Nausea or vomiting
Inability to communicate clearly
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK A DRINK HAS BEEN SPIKED?
INSIDE THE VENUE
If you or anyone you are with has been a victim of drink spiking inform the venue team immediately. This is what will happen:
If medical assistance is required, this will be arranged immediately
If Police assistance is required, this will be arranged immediately
The venue team will ensure you are safe as a first priority
Some venues have been provided with drink spiking testing kits to immediately detect the presence of drugs.
If the venue doesn’t have kits then they will call the police who will be able to do the test instead, as well as taking the drink as evidence
As well as testing the drink, the police or a medical professional might perform a blood test or urine test. It is very important that this is done immediately as some drugs are only present in the body for 12 hours
The venue and Police will collaborate to collect any evidence required related to the crime including getting CCTV of the incident and other forensic evidence
DRINK SPIKING IS A CRIME AND EVERYONE TAKES IT VERY SERIOUSLY. YOU WILL BE LISTENED TO AND BELIEVED.
IF YOU HAVE LEFT THE VENUE
you have already left the venue and the incident has just happened, call 999 for the Police to attend or to arrange an ambulance if you require urgent medical assistance
If you are reporting this incident more than 12 hours afterwards, please call 101 and record what happened. Police will then advise appropriate action
DRINK SPIKING IS A PERSONAL VIOLATION AND A CRIME. IT CARRIES A SENTENCE OF UP TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON.
WHERE CAN YOU GET SUPPORT?
ARE YOU A VENUE OR PART OF A VENUE TEAM?
TRAIN YOUR STAFF
Ensuring that all staff are trained in the NTIA safety package NTIA Best Practice Guide
- Train your staff to be aware of the possibility of drinks being spiked and encourage them to monitor unattended drinks.
- Train your staff to recognise the signs of a person who may have had their drink spiked – this includes suddenly appearing intoxicated, drowsiness, vomiting or being disorientated.
- Consideration of trained welfare staff at premises whose sole responsibility is to seek out vulnerable persons and liaise with staff members to safeguard them
- Ensuring all staff (including door staff) are trained in NTIA Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement Training – This will empower staff to identify and manage vulnerable persons, safeguarding them.
- Educate your staff about the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme to support members of the public on a night out and help customers if they are in a difficult situation.
- Consider Bystander Awareness Training: this will support stewards to identify where someone may be at risk of harm and when to step in to help.
Door stewards should be alert to persons loitering outside premises for no apparent reason and be prepared to challenge them.
Ensuring that where door staff are used, they are visible and approachable and know what to do in relation to any reports made to them – Consideration always should be to safeguard the victim/identify the offender and detain them/contact the Police, particularly where a person identifies themselves as a victim of a sexual assault
- Consider adopting a policy of personal search as a condition of entry to your premises.
- Consider increased numbers of door stewards to ensure thorough searches of customers.
- Policy and training to be delivered on special medical conditions (for example when finding epi pens and diabetic medication during a search)
- Use of drugs dogs to support any searching regime to identify illicit substances and deter any offenders
Display clear signage informing customers that refusal to be searched will result in refusal of entry.
Posters should be placed to raise awareness about the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme around the venue to enable people to seek help if they feel threatened.
All communications should be perpetrator-led, not victims
- Highly visible perpetrator-focused poster campaigns can be part of these physical changes (see Additional resources).
- Make sure your customers know what support initiatives are available
- Make sure your customers know you take each incident seriously
- Spiking is a multi-partner issue, so access as many resources and support tools as possible – the more we collaborate the stronger and more united we are.
NTIA STANDARDS OF GOOD PRACTICE
Best Practice sits at the core of every successful night time business. Within our fast-paced industry and ever more information at our fingertips, real knowledge can be very elusive. How can you be sure that your business has access to the best available information?