'Spikers will be banned for life' - Burnley bar owner vows to ramp up safety measures to combat drink spiking
A Burnley bar owner is introducing a raft of new safety measures following rising fears about drinks being spiked in town centre bars, pubs and clubs.
Madge Nawaz, who owns Remedy Gin Bar and Penny Black in Burnley town centre, is reassuring customers worried over a rise in drink and body spiking that they will remain "safe" as they possibly can in his venues.
Madge and his staff are introducing a number of anti-drink spiking procedures and want to reassure customers that there are plenty of things they can do if anyone suspects something has happened on a night out.
The move follows a warning by Lancashire Police urging people to be on their guard when out and about following an increase in spiking incidents.
In recent weeks police across the country have received reports of people being spiked, either through their drinks or through injection. In Lancashire, police officers have received several reports of these offences, including an increased number of allegations over the weekend.
Madge said: "In our venues, our guests’ safety and wellbeing is paramount, it’s our number one priority. With this in mind, we have a number of new measures that we will be looking to implement. Firstly, we are stepping up our security and all customers will be subject to a mandatory search on entry.
"Anyone suspected of spiking will also be held by staff until police arrive. Anyone found with drugs will be banned for life from our venues."
Madge went onto say: "It's absolutely disgusting what's happening with drinks and body spiking. Bars, pubs and clubs have suffered a lot in the last 18 months during the Covid-19 pandemic and the run-up to Christmas is one of our busiest periods. We want people to enjoy a drink and have fun in a safe environment. As part of our new safety measures, my staff will be provided with updated guidelines on how to deal with concerns or complaints and customers will be offered optional bottle, glass covers and straws.
"I think it's good that bar owners are taking more responsibility for customers inside their venues and recognizing when there's distress, when there's an issue," he concluded.
Meanwhile, police are reassuring people that incidents of spiking will be taken seriously.
Temp Asst Chief Constable Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, said: “We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking, in any form, to contact us. Any reports of spiking will be investigated and taken seriously. You should try and report it to police as quickly as possible to help officers carry out tests and gather the best evidence.
“While we have had no reports of further crimes being reported because of spiking incidents, it is vital to reiterate if you think you have been a victim of spiking, contact police immediately. This allows appropriate tests and enquiries to be conducted.
“Where appropriate, you should also seek medical attention.”
He added: “If you are out this week or this weekend, please enjoy yourselves but be vigilant, stick with your friends and look after each other. If you are out and feel unwell, or have any concerns, speak to bar and door staff immediately or call police for assistance.” Report any crime by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999."