What can pubs do to prevent drink spiking?

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Increase in reports: incidents involving drinks being spiked are rising (image credit: monkeybusinessimages/gettyimages.co.uk)
Increase in reports: incidents involving drinks being spiked are rising (image credit: monkeybusinessimages/gettyimages.co.uk)
Pubs should encourage customers to moderate their drinking and consider specific training for their staff in a bid to reduce the risk of punters getting their drinks spiked, according to an alcohol charity.

The advice follows a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, which found a 108% rise in reports of drink spiking the past three years.

Sky News ​obtained figures from 38 of the country’s 45 police forces that found the number of reports including the words ‘drink’ and either ‘spiking’ or ‘lacing’ have more than doubled since 2015 – totalling 1,039 in the past three years.

Terrible crime

In February this year, 10 pubs and bars joined a #notinmydrink campaign to raise awareness of drink spiking.

Venues in Lincoln took part in the 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.

When it comes to pub operators aiming to ensure drinks do not get spiked in their venue, alcohol education charity Drinkaware has some advice.

Drinkaware director of business development and partnerships Rommel Moseley said: “Drink spiking is a terrible crime and we applaud the efforts of responsible operators to reduce the risk of drinks being spiked on their premises, through the use of drinks stoppers, for example."

Guard against spiking

Moseley added: “Operators can also create a safer environment for customers, proactively encouraging them to moderate their drinking, which puts them in a better position to be alert to anything suspicious and to look out for their friends.

“Measures including offering a great range of no or low-alcohol options, or soft drinks for customers who choose not to drink, putting their staff through Drinkaware Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning, or for larger events, introducing our Drinkaware Crew scheme.

“There are a number of ways in which consumers can guard against their drink being spiked, and Drinkaware gives advice on this on the website,​ as well as on how they can spot the symptoms and what to do if they, or a friend, think they have been spiked.”

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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