A new device launched last week may help end the threat of drink spiking over Christmas. Spikey has been designed to stop drinks tampering and reduce the risk of drug-rape, a crime that hits the headlines around the festive period. The device was created by Ray Lockett of R&G Products after his daughter, Marilyn, had her drink spiked on her birthday last February. Thankfully for her, friends spotted she was behaving oddly and took her home before anything could happen. Spikey is a plastic stopper that fits into the neck of bottles and cannot be removed. Only a straw can pass through the hole, creating a safe seal. The stoppers come in four fluorescent colours, which give the product a fun and funky angle. Lockett wants barstaff to insert the stopper and straw into every bottle sold before it is handed to the customer ensuring drinks cannot be tampered with. "As well as the incident with Marilyn, my son Mark told me of a spiking incident with one of his close friends and ideas started to flow," explained Lockett. "It had to be a one-use stopper as unlike other reusable caps on the market, Spikey prevents a potential rapist picking up your drink, lifting the cap, spiking it and replacing it. The feedback we're getting frombars and clubs is tremendous. "It is impossible to constantly watch your drink and people don't want the hassle of checking [with available test kits] for individual drugs in their drink." l Spikey is expected to retail at 2.5p per device and is supplied in boxes of 5,000. Samples or more information are available from R&G Products on 01403 752775. How you can combat spiking Thankfully drug-rape is not as common an occurrence as scare stories in the tabloids might make out however, vigilance is needed to ensure customers remain protected. l Train staff to keep an eye on suspicious customers who may be trying to spot potential victims or appear to be trying to tamper with other's drinks. l Watch out for vulnerable customers women on their own, or who seem very drunk or under the influence of a drug. Offer help if someone is distressed or believes they've been drugged or assaulted. l Take any claim of drink tampering seriously and pay attention to what potential victims tell you it may be vital when dealing with police later. l Ensure you have details of trusted taxi services and encourage lone women to use them. Provide somewhere safe they can wait.