Bars and pubs in Lincoln are taking part in the new six-month pilot scheme offering to test drinks for the presence of drugs as part of measures introduced by Lincolnshire County Council to help keep people safe when enjoying a night out in the city.
To do this, the council has teamed up with with research company Drug Lab 118, which is supplying its ‘Drink Detective’ narcotic-testing kits for free.
The pubs will supply feedback on the kits to help further product development. In exchange, anyone on a night out will be able to ask bar staff in these venues for their drink to be tested should they have any concerns.
Hayley Child, from Lincolnshire County Council’s Safer Communities Service, said: “If you temporarily leave your drink unattended or if you’ve been bought a drink and have any suspicions about what it contains, staff in these bars will have kits on hand to give you the reassurance you need.
"The bars taking part have already signed up to the Ask for Angela* scheme and are showing their commitment to helping keep people safe.”
Drug Lab 118 chief executive Colin Lyon said: “Drug Lab 118 developed the Drink Detective test and created the #notinmydrink campaign to raise awareness of the endemic issue of drink spiking in parts of society, and to make the Drink Detective available to everyone.
"We are delighted to be invited to support the trial in Lincoln and work together with the Lincoln team to make our society a little safer.”
Detective Inspector Dan Boulter from Lincolnshire Police added: “Although the evidence doesn’t suggest that drug-spiking is common practice in Lincolnshire, we hope that people are made more aware of the importance of looking after themselves and their friends on a night out.
“The most common cause of ‘drink-spiking’ is actually from alcohol – adding alcohol or higher-strength alcohol to someone’s drink without them knowing. This may be done as a joke, but is often done so a theft, assault or other crime can take place. Drink spiking is an offence, whatever the intention is.”
*Ask for Angela is a scheme where people can talk to pub, club or bar staff as a cry for help but to do so without causing a scene.