Active campaign to stop drink spiking in Plymouth this Christmas
THOUSANDS of small bottle stoppers are being handed out to Christmas revellers to prevent any drink spiking incidents.
The plastic Spikey bottle blockers have been bought by Plymouth's Best Bar None (BBN) scheme after chairman Mick McDonnell read about a suspected spiking incident in The Herald.
Earlier this month police issued a warning to revellers to keep their drinks close in the run up to Christmas after a suspected spiking incident involving two young women at a nightclub.
Mr McDonnell said BBN, which recognises the highest standards in the city's evening and night time economy by accrediting safe bars, said: "It was an opportunity for BBN to react to the possibility there might be an issue.
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"If we can get these out it shows we are doing something positive and sends out the message: 'be safe this Christmas'."
The Spikey is a small, brightly coloured plastic stopper that glows in UV light.
It fits snuggly into the top of a bottle of lager or spirit, for instance, and has a hole through which the drink can be consumed with a straw.
Once in place this creates a seal that helps stop pills and substances such as the so-called "date rape drug" Rohypnol, the sedative GHB, or more alcohol, being slipped into the drink.
"The Spikey prevents anyone putting anything into the drink," Mr McDonnell said. "And if you don't push it all the way in, you can take it out (when you have finished the drink) and keep it with you (for reuse)."
Mr McDonnell has distributed Spikeys to city centre bars which have been accredited by BBN this year, and has asked them to give them away free to customers.
He was also, this week, handing out the stoppers to students at City College Plymouth's King's Road and Goschen campuses, during a Christmas fair.
He is also planning to hand Spikeys to Plymouth's Street Pastors, to pass on to drinkers.
Mr McDonnell is also continuing to distribute In Case of Emergency (ICE) cards in the lead-up to Christmas.
This autumn he received a whopping 20,000 cards, which contain space for students to fill in their names and the names and contact details of their next-of-kin.
It means someone can be contacted if the card-bearer is involved in an accident, not necessarily alcohol-related, and is incapable of giving details.
Earlier this month, The Herald reported how detectives are investigating an incident at an un-named club where two women, both aged 23, were believed to have had their drinks spiked with a drug.
Samples were taken from the women in an effort to confirm what kind of substance was put in their drinks sometime on the night of November 28. A police spokesman said both women contacted police complaining of similar experiences which led detectives to suspect they had fallen prey to a drug.
Anyone with information about this or similar incidents are urged to call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting police log number 449 or 29/11/12.