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Havering venues step up measures to crack down on drink spiking

Two nightclubs in Romford provide clear cups with secure lids and tops for bottled drinks

Havering Council have partnered with local venues to crack down on drink spiking and injections.

The extra precautions are being introduced following an increase across the country of drinks being spiked and individuals being injected with drugs via a needle or syringe.

Robust body and bag searches when entering local nightclubs, pubs and bars are being stepped up to reduce the risk of needle spiking.

This is alongside the addition of detector arches.

Venue staff have also been trained up on what to look out for regarding suspicious behaviour.

Atik Nightclub and the Slug and Lettuce, both in South Street, Romford, are two venues who have measures in place.

These include, providing clear cups with secure lids, tops for bottled drinks, and ensuring staff are trained to assist with any reporting of such concerns.

Head of night-time door security at the Slug and Lettuce, Kath said: “The toppers we have for people’s drinks will help enable them to keep their drinks more secure.

“This year, even though COVID-19 is still with us, people can hopefully get the chance to socialise more this Christmas.

“We will be making sure that our staff will be vigilant especially around being aware of drink spiking. We want everyone who visits us to have a safe and enjoyable evening and feel they can approach our staff if they need help.”

The Council’s enforcement and community safety teams, licensees, police as well as security staff and transport officers meet weekly to share information on preventing common safety issues.

Additional safety measures being implemented to venures include dedicated male and female care ambassadors, glass items such as perfumes or aftershaves kept securely at front of venue and small bags or purses left in cloakroom for free.

All staff have been trained in the “Ask for Angela” scheme and a fully qualified medic will be available.

Venues also have a dedicated medical room, CCTV cameras and ID scanning systems, phone charging or the use of a phone if someone has lost theirs.

Officers from the Council’s community safety and enforcement teams, are also on-hand to provide help throughout evening until the early hours of the next morning.

This includes helping punters find taxis or providing safe routes to public transport.

Havering’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, Councillor Viddy Persaud said: “We are proud to have a strong working partnership with our local clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants, together with police and other emergency services.

“Between us all, we have measures in place to help people feel safe and to give them the confidence to ask for help if they need it.

“We also need residents and those visiting our town centres also to be our eyes and ears. Drink spiking and needle injections are happening without people knowing.

“If you see something and you have a concern, please make sure to tell staff at the venue, our enforcement teams or the police if needed.

“Many of these crimes are witnessed but often not reported. Please speak up to help increase your safety as well as others.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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