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Hospitality trade bodies unite to combat drink spiking

Four leading trade bodies have joined forces to ensure customer safety amid growing concerns about drink spiking at hospitality venues across the UK.

UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), and Hospitality Ulster have come together to produce a set of resources aimed at helping operators combat drink spiking to protect customers.

The associations have jointly produced a factsheet to help operators bolster the work they are doing to ensure venues “remain safe places in which to enjoy a night out”.

The trade bodies said that at licensed venues, door staff, customer search procedures, CCTV and metal detectors can help prevent drink spiking.

Additionally, the associations said that if an incident does occur, operators should take three steps.

These include activating the venue’s safeguarding procedures and identifying suspects, ensuring the health and safety of the affected customer such as calling the emergency services, ensuring they are with friends, and providing them with a safe space, and to log and record the incident for the emergency services.

Operators are also being encouraged to make their venues “unappealing to those seeking to commit crimes” by using posters and social media to urge customers to be vigilant, training staff to identify issues before they arise, and by taking practical and physical measures, such as anti-spiking bottle stoppers.

According to the trade bodies, recent weeks have seen increasing reports of drink spiking, with alcohol being the most common substance added, along with illegal or legal drugs being used often.

In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the BBPA, the BII and Hospitality Ulster said: “Drink spiking is a despicable crime and cannot be tolerated. Everyone has a right to feel safe during a night out, which is why as a sector we work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment.

“Although the number of drink spiking reports remain low, any such incidents underline the need to protect the welfare and maintain the safety of customers. It is why we continue to collaborate with the police and other local stakeholders to ensure everyone can enjoy a fun night out.”

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