Spiking

We know that many of you are concerned right now about the rise in reports of drink spiking both here in Birmingham and across the UK.  We’re concerned too!

As your Guild of Students, your safety on nights out is extremely important to us; whether that’s you being and feeling safe at one of our events, at a venue in Selly Oak, or in the city centre.  We recognise the importance of increasing awareness, letting you know what we’re doing to keep you safe as well as working with you to see what else we can do to improve your safety.  We really are committed to ensuring that all of our students feel safe on nights out.

Drink spiking is where something is added to your drink, usually either alcohol or drugs, without your knowledge.  This is usually done to make the victim more vulnerable to things including theft, sexual assault or it can be seen as an attempted joke.

There are increased reports right now of people being injected with drugs, via needles, without their knowledge or consent. It’s believed that the same drugs are being used, as those used in drink spiking, as the symptoms are very similar.

It’s very serious and it is illegal to spike someone’s drink or inject them without their knowledge.  The maximum sentence for someone found guilty of drink spiking is 10 years in prison (and University expulsion if they are a Birmingham student). Spiking by injection is still so new, that nobody has yet been charged.  Victims of drink and needle spiking are not the ones at fault and the responsibility for it, lies solely with the perpetrators.

No, drink spiking and spiking by injection can happen to anyone; no matter your gender, age, sexual orientation, or whether you’re out at a pub, club or a house party.  A quarter of victims of spiking are men. 

The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Your symptoms could include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Loss of balance
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Visual problems
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

If you or a friend start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, then get help straight away.

If you or your friends are showing any of symptoms of drink spiking, there are a few things you can do:

  • Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
  • Stay with them and keep talking to them
  • Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
  • Don’t let them go home on their own
  • Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t know or trust
  • If possible, try and prevent them drinking more alcohol as this could lead to more serious problems

What Are The Guild Doing To Keep Students Safe?

We’ve already joined with students’ unions from Birmingham City University and Aston University, to write a letter asking all night time venues across Birmingham to improve staff training on how to recognise the signs of drink spiking and how to support victims, provide free of charge anti-spiking equipment and testing kits, and not only to report all perpetrators to the Police, but also to ban them from their venue, for life.

Across our social media channels, website and in our venue, we are sharing resources on how to recognise the signs of drink spiking, and what to do if you or your friends suspect you’ve been spiked.

After listening to your concerns and carrying out a full review of our safety measures, we have created a safety action plan to show you exactly what we’re doing to keep you safe at our club nights:

If you’d like to talk to us about a safety concern you have, please contact us at fto@guild.bham.ac.uk.

An Update From West Midlands Police

 

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