Licensees urged to be aware after more reported attacks in pubs
Licensees, barstaff and doorstaff in pub and clubs are being urged to look out for customers behaving suspiciously, after a rise in cases of drug rape.
Figures show that last year around 1,200 people complained that they were raped after being drugged by their attacker, usually with Rohypnol which is commonly known as "the date rape drug".
This compared to a total of 780 cases the year before which were reported to the Drug Rape Trust - a rise of almost 50 per cent.
And just less than half of all victims said the drug was put in their drink while they were in a pub or club, according to Detective Chief Inspector Peter Sturman who set up the trust to address the growing problem.
"Publicans should look out for anybody acting suspiciously at the bar," DCI Sturman said.
"Often drinks are spiked at the bar or before they are taken to a table. I conducted some research where I asked a sample, around 123 complainants, where the drink spiking occurred and just less than half, 43 per cent, said that the spiking was carried out in a pub or club."
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said that there were no official figures for drug rape incidents, because the offence was not classified separately from rape, but admitted that reports of such cases had increased, especially in central London.
These warnings follow an emailed warning apparently sent out earlier this month after two women had collapsed unconscious in the toilets of a bar in London.The warning was circulated to offices in the capital asking female pub-goers to watch their drinks at all times.
DCI Sturman said that there were a number of things that licensees could do to try and protect customers.
"We are asking licensees to display our 'Be Aware, Take Care' posters in both male and female toilets as these list points on how customers can try and safeguard themselves against an attack," he said.
The charity runs its own training course, which teaches licensees and doorstaff how to differentiate between someone who has had too much to drink or has been drugged.
Posters and beer mats alerting customers to the risks of drug rape are also available and any licensees requiring more information can contact the trust on 01702 317695.
Drug rape prevention
- not allow strangers to buy them drinks
- ask a friend to watch their drink if they are away from the table
- place a thumb over bottle-necks when drinking bottled products
- tell a member of barstaff if feeling woozy.
- display posters alerting customers to the potential problem
- be alert for suspicious behaviour or anyone tampering with drinks
- check customers who appear drunk have not been drugged.