Work continues with licensed premises to help keep revellers safe
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Licensing officers from Northamptonshire Police are continuing to work closely with venues across Northampton to keep pub- and club-goers safe as the festive season gets into full swing.
The Force has been helping town centre venues improve how they protect customers in the wake of an increase in reports from people who believe they may have been ‘spiked’ during a night out.
Tampering with someone’s drink, whether by adding extra alcohol or any form of drugs, or injecting them with any substance, is a serious criminal offence, and police officers have been providing advice to venues so they can help to keep people as safe as possible.
Licensing officer PC Sandy Tracey said: “We know the issue of spiking is something people remain worried about, and we’re really pleased with how Northampton’s town centre venues have stepped up to do all they can to protect their customers.
“Everything we’ve asked them to do, they’ve listened to and acted on, and many are now going the extra mile to make sure people can enjoy themselves safely and make it clear that we’re working together to take action against anyone attempting to do harm or commit crime within their venue.”
Throughout the festive season the Force will have increased numbers of officers on duty within the night-time economy across the county to help keep people as safe as possible, including increased patrols under Operation Kayak, which sees dedicated officers on patrol looking out for and preventing predatory behaviour.
Detective Inspector Liz Basham, of Northamptonshire Police’s CID, who is overseeing investigations into alleged spikings at Northampton town centre venues, said: “Thankfully, the Force hasn’t received any confirmed reports of secondary offending related to alleged drink spiking, such as sexual assaults or robberies, nor have our investigations into reports indicated any link or series of offences.
“Every report made to us is taken seriously, including liaising closely with venues regarding CCTV and also taking detailed accounts from people as to what and how much they have drunk, noting any legal or prescription medication they may be on which could have caused an adverse reaction when mixed with alcohol.
“We continue to stress that any form of tampering with someone’s drink or trying to administer any substance is a serious criminal offence, it’s not something to do as a joke or prank, or you could find yourself in court facing serious charges.
“We’re also continuing to share advice on how you can best stay safe on a night out – in an ideal world this wouldn’t be necessary but it’s important people know how to enjoy themselves as safely as possible.”
If you believe you may have been spiked on a night out, report it immediately to venue staff and seek medical help if required, before also reporting it as soon as possible to police.
Report non-emergency crime by calling 101 or visiting www.northants.police.uk/RO. In an emergency, always call 999.
Advice for staying safe on a night out
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to share this advice, but sadly there are people who may look to take advantage of you on a night out, so:
Be aware of what and how much you are drinking – your tolerance for alcohol varies according to a range of factors, and many people returning to socialising since the reopening of the night-time economy may find their tolerance has lowered
Always look after your drinks. Don’t leave them unattended, don’t take drinks from strangers or pick up drinks at random – you have no way of knowing what’s in them
Stick with your friends – keep an eye on each other and have a plan for getting home safely
If you have any concerns about someone’s behaviour or wellbeing, report it immediately to venue staff or to police