Safer St Albans Pubs campaign aims to tackle drink spiking
- Credit: Nick Butcher
With the festive party season already in full swing, a new campaign has been set up to raise awareness of drinks spiking in the district's pubs and bars.
Safer St Albans Pubs is an initiative launched in partnership with Pubwatch, Herts police, the BID and St Albans council and spearheaded by Save St Albans Pubs.
It aims to provide guidance and information to licensed venues as well as increase customers' awareness on how to recognise if a drink has been spiked and reinforce the importance of never leaving drinks unattended.
Sean Hughes of Save St Albans Pubs said: "We want the public to know that we are all working really hard to ensure that spiking does not happen in our venues. We want to ensure people are armed with the information required to deal with any potential spiking incidents and most importantly to look out for watch other over the festive period and into the New Year."
Alicia Nelson, who was instrumental in launching the campaign, added: "A recent suspected incident involving a male in St Albans went unreported due to embarrassment but has been reported to our campaign already. Drink spiking tends to be seen as targeting only women, but also used as a tool for theft, revenge, robbery and assault. It is important that both men and women are aware of their drinks at all times."
Posters and beermats will be handed out to pubs displaying the signs of a spiked drink along with advice on what to do if someone is displaying symptoms of being drugged, which include mental confusion, feeling drunker than expected, speech difficulties, feeling drowsy, nausea and vomiting, breathing problems, loss of balance, and even unconsciousness.
Spiked drinks may appear cloudy or change colour, may have excessive fizzing, or ice may sink or be coated in dust or flecks.
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Safe St Albans Pubs will be running a pop-up stall in the city centre on December 10 from 3-8pm and December 11 from noon to 4pm, providing free drink-testing kits as well as important information on drink spiking and how to stay safe this Christmas.