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Support & Wellbeing

Safety during nights out

By echorley 04 Nov 2021

We are aware that there have been several drink spiking incidents in Sheffield recently. Although this is rare in our venues, we would like to reassure students of our commitment to ensuring everyone can have a safe night out.

In response to the recent incidents, we will take the following additional security measures in our venues in order to keep our members safe:

  • Spikeys will be available at all of the SU bars
  • Our Security team can now test your drink if you suspect you’ve been spiked
  • Random tests of unattended drinks will be carried out in the venues and results recorded
  • Increased messaging in our venues warning perpetrators that they will be reported to the police

If you see anything suspicious in our venues, please let our security team know straight away. We urge anyone who thinks their drink might have been spiked to report it. If you, or someone you know, has their drink spiked in our SU then you can report it immediately to a member of staff on the night. 

Spiking someone's drink is illegal and the maximum sentence if found guilty is 10 years in prison. Anyone caught spiking a drink in our venues will be banned and reported to the police. 

The responsibility lies solely with the perpetrators, and it is not your fault if you have your drink spiked on a night out. Our priority is to keep our community safe and identify the people responsible. However, given the recent increase in incidents, we also want to share the following advice for students who are going on nights out in the city which might help to keep yourself and your friends safe:

  • Do not lose sight of your drink on a night out. Don’t take a drink that you haven’t seen being prepared, and don’t drink it if it’s been left unattended. 
  • Be cautious if a stranger offers you a drink, and if you accept a drink offer, go with them to the bar to see it being prepared. 
  • Keep an eye on your friends and keep track of where everyone is. 
  • If you feel unwell, seek medical advice and stay with someone you know in a safe place.
  • If you suspect your drink, or your friends, has been spiked then tell the bar, club, or venue as quickly as possible.

  
If you think your drink was spiked recently in our venue and you haven’t reported it, please send an email to su-complaints@sheffield.ac.uk so that we can investigate the incident further. We have a high standard of CCTV in our venues which we will be able to examine. Reporting will help South Yorkshire police to identify linked incidents in the city and find those responsible. 
 
If you’re in the Foundry at our SU, you can go to the Time Out Zone if you’re feeling overly intoxicated. We also have a Quiet Room: a safe space that you may want to access if you’re feeling overwhelmed or need some support. There are specially trained members of staff in both spaces. 

For more information on recognising the symptoms of drink spiking, take a look on Drink Aware.
 
If you need help or support after having your drink spiked, you can get in touch with University of Sheffield Student Access to Mental Health Support.



Information courtesy of the Sheffield Students' Union.

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echorley I'm Emma Chorley, the Marketing and Communications Executive for accommodation services at UoS.
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