The SU

Drink Spiking Safety

Drink Spiking Safety

Venues' Anti-Spiking Provisions and Advice from Local Police

On Wednesday 27 October students across Bath took part in the national Big Night In campaign - boycotting all bars/clubs to encourage venues to introduce more effective anti-spiking provisions and safety protocols. 

As your SU, we want to make sure your safety and wellbeing is a priority, so we wanted to make sure we continued working on this important issue beyond the boycott. 

Therefore, we also sent an open letter to all bars/clubs in Bath asking what anti-spiking provisions they have in place and what new provisions they have introduced due to this campaign. 604 students signed the letter - thank you once again for your engagement and for getting your voice heard. The purpose of this letter was to allow us to share information around the anti-spiking provisions of each bar/club with students - so you know what provisions are available to you when you attend each venue. So far, we have received responses from 12 out of the 23 venues we contacted and we have shared the provisions of those venues at the bottom of this article. Thank you so much to the venues who have got in touch with us after receiving the open letter! We will continue to update this article when we receive additional responses. 

Annie, your SU President, and Meg, your Community Officer, attended Bath BID Safe and Secure meeting earlier this week. This meeting brought together representation from a number of bars/clubs across Bath, the local police, the local council, and night marshals. We had a really productive discussion around drink spiking and we were really pleased to see the venues so keen to collaborate on this important issue.  

We wanted to share with you some of the collaborative actions that came up in this meeting: 

  • Bath BID are creating a drink spiking procedure manual to be distributed to all venues, giving all venues a guide to effective anti-spiking provisions and how to deal with any disclosures. We're hoping this guide will share best practice with all venues, facilitating a consistent approach across Bath. 
  • Drink spiking awareness campaign materials will be distributed to bars/clubs to display in their venues. 
  • Komedia will be hosting a drink-spiking awareness training session in their venue and invited staff/security from all bars/clubs to attend. The interest in this training session was really brilliant to see. 
  • Bath BID will be looking into the possibility of introducing a pop-up safe space in the city for students to use if needed, with medical professionals available if required. 
  • Additionally, Bath BID will be looking into whether it would be possible to introduce a safe night coach to allow students a safe transport option home if taxis will not take them due to intoxication. 

The local police gave us an overview on what to do in the immediate instance if you or somebody you know has been spiked: 

  • If you or somebody you know thinks they have been spiked, dial 999 for the police as soon as possible. 
  • Inform the venue after calling 999 so they are aware. 
  • Keep any evidence of spiking for forensic testing, such as keeping any remaining drink that you suspect has been spiked. 
  • The police reported that in any reports of drink spiking, all victims will be listened to and believed 
  • They have introduced new procedures over the past 2 weeks and have been trialling several immediate urine tests for drink spiking, to speed up the process of investigation 
  • The police will assess forensics and the CCTV footage upon reporting and the perpetrator can receive a sentence of up to 10 years for the offence 
  • If you are unable to report immediately, please do inform the police at a later date - the forensic evidence may still be in your body for up to 30 days after the incident, so it is always worth reporting if you can 

Responses to the Open Letter - Anti-Spiking Provisions of Each Venue: 

Each venue's stated provisions listed in their responses to our open letter are below - we hope this article will help our student body to know where and how you can be as safe as possible on nights out. If you have any feedback or questions about these provisions, please do get in touch with the venues. 

A huge thank you to these venues for sharing your provisions with us. For any of the venues listed below, if your venue changes its anti-spiking provisions, please email us so we can update this article ( 

We contacted 11 other venues and have not yet received a response but we hope to be working with them soon. If any other bars/clubs would like to share their anti-spiking provisions with students, we would love to add them in this article! Please email 

Plug & Tub: 

  • The Plug & Tub is a Gold Best Bar None winner - awarded in national recognition of the work done to ensure the safety of the guests 
  • The venue has an event control room which looks over the night club when operating, with 19 CCTV cameras 
  • Both bars have Spikeys which are available for you free of charge if you ask a staff member 
  • All bar and security staff are trained on drink spiking awareness as well as on the use of our SU Safe Taxi Scheme, which gives you a safe transport option home when needed 
  • The staff have increased on-the-door searching and additional training will be incorporated into the nightly bar briefing for all staff.
  • Ordered a supply of drink lids called StopTopps which are available for you at the bar.  
  • Introduced a safe area in the Student Centre for students to use if they feel unwell and need to rest 

Pig & Fiddle: 

  • Making sure to make all staff aware of the possibilities on shift  
  • Trying to step up security with regular toilet checks 
  • Asked us for links for testing kits and drink protectors they can order 


  • Increased search rates
  • Employ a Here to Help welfare operative in a hi vis tabard who is trained and equipped to help vulnerable guests and lone females
  • Partakes in the Ask For Angela campaign
  • Spikeys will soon be available on all bars free of charge
  • Two-thirds of the management team are female
  • Have a digital CCTV system in place
  • Select members of Security are equipped with BodyCams 
  • Trialing StopTopps and awaiting delivery of these
  • Have a private in-house dedicated Medic
  • Security team are fully trained and insured to handle sensitive situations 


  • All security staff are trained to spot spiking and the effects of spiking. They are a flagship #NeverOK venue meaning their staff training is the gold standard for all venues participating in this project 
  • Have an ‘Ask For Angela’ system (called ‘Ask For Buffy’), clearly signposted in women’s toilets 
  • Have a designated safe, quiet area within the venue 
  • Have always had straws available at all times 
  • Have a new designated spot for any unattended drinks by the window with CCTV pointing directly at it 
  • First-aid trained staff and paramedics to see to any victims of spiking  
  • Make sure female customers are taken care of by female security staff 
  • They will never leave a person who has been spiked to get home alone - if there is no option but to use a taxi, we will photograph the vehicle for reference 
  • Will detain any suspects of drinks spiking, ban them, and get the police involved 
  • Operates routine bag, wallet, and large coat searches on the door 
  • Always has at least one female security staff at every event 
  • Work closely with the local Night Marshals and Street Pastors 
  • Introducing Stop Topps  
  • More signage for drink safety and to encourage customers to report anything unusual or if they feel unwell 
  • Additional training for all staff 
  • Storing free water behind the bar  

Stonegate - The Canon, Be At One, Slug & Lettuce, Lamb & Lion: 

  • Introduced “Ask Angela” publicised in our toilets 
  • Providing drinks covers (Spikeys and Scrunchies)  
  • Have Guest Support colleagues in many venues (who wear a neon armband) 


  • Management team attended ‘Good night out’ training in 2019 
  • Drinks testing kits in the venue 
  • All staff are trained on ‘Ask Angela’ and shortly on ‘Good night out’
  • Head door supervisor is female 
  • Regular bag searches on entry
  • Drink spiking awareness posters in both male and female toilets
  • Ordered 2250 "stop topps", as well as testing some one size fits all glass toppers 
  • Collection of unattended drinks
  • Full venue CCTV  
  • Team are first aid trained 


  • Newly installed high definition 21 camera CCTV system  
  • “We will always believe you” policy – all reports of spiking, sexual assault and harassment believed at point of disclosure and fully investigated by management and security services 
  • Staff encouraged to report any suspected sexual assault, harassment, violence or suspicious behaviour to the security team and management 
  • Staff are trained in Ask for Angela 
  • Straws are available at the bar 
  • Have a private and safe space in the venue where first aid can be administered 
  • Will ensure any customer in our venue leaves safely 
  • Search attendees on entry to ensure the safety of others 
  • Working alongside Midas Security Services who train and retrain their staff to recognise incidents of spiking and how to keep victims safe as well as being trained in mental health awareness and first aid 
  • Have more security on duty than legally required  
  • Ongoing review of safe space & welfare policies 
  • Actively cooperate with Bath BID, BANES, Avon and Somerset Police, Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and other pubs and venues  

Dark Horse: 

  • "We are table service only at The Dark Horse and therefore the only time that guests walk anywhere to go to the washrooms.Thus the opportunity for spiking is virtually nil as there is always a member of staff watching the room." 

Sub 13: 

  • Security staff are on hand and trained to identify at risk guests 
  • First aiders are available at all times 
  • Routine searches are performed on entry 
  • Clear all unattended glasses
  • 23 CCTV cameras covering all parts of the venue 
  • Report of drink spiking or another issues are thoroughly investigated and the relevant information is passed to the police and shared with other venues via the Safe & Secure Bath night watch scheme 
  • Drinks covers, which are available at the bar 
  • Priority issue for the security team, who are on the alert for any suspicious behaviour 
  • Increased frequency of searches on entry, randomly selected guests are asked to fully turn out their pockets and their personal effects examined 
  • Dip stick tests are available free-of-charge from serving and bar staff, which allow you to check whether your drink has been spiked with the most commonly-used substances 
  • Extended training to all floor and waiting staff so they can spot the signs of drinks spiking and know what to do to help 

Zero Zero: 

  • Increased searching on everyone who enters the venue
  • All bags checked into the cloak room 
  • Drinks covers provided on all bars 
  • Training biweekly for both door staff and bar staff 
  • Extra door staff on every night 
  • Increased CCTV presence 
  • Encouragement of people to tell us about anyone acting suspiciously so we can keep an eye on them 
  • Bar staff informed to let Security Industry Authority know of anyone ordering only soft drinks on their own or with 1 other 

Bath Spa Students' Union:

  • In support of the Bath Night in Campaign and provided support for students who wanted to participate in the boycott
  • Working to raise awareness of the appearance of spiked drinks as well as spotting the signs of being spiked
  • Vice President Welfare and Community, Siân Bentley, is working with the University’s Student Wellbeing Services, with members of the Student Community Partnership (SCP) and with the University of Bath Students’ Union to address this issue across the City of Bath
  • Have Spikeys available (anti-spiking lids)
  • Increased communication with students to raise awareness
  • Enhanced cleaning and surveillance in the bar
  • Enhanced staff training
  • Sharing of good practice with venues and partners
  • Meeting with venues and partners to raise issues
  • Sharing good practice across national SU networks


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