'Improve or lose your license': Backing for new anti-spiking plan

Police monitoring Prince of Wales Road in Norwich for reports of drink spiking

Police monitoring Prince of Wales Road in Norwich for reports of drink spiking in autumn 2021 - Credit: Archant

Drink spikers in the city centre could face tough new measures aimed at stamping out the crime, as bars and clubs continue rigorous training to support their victims.

MPs in Westminster have said venues which have a bad track record with dealing with drink spikers - and wider issues relating to violence against women - should have to prove improvement as part of their licence renewal.

It comes after a successful anti-spiking pilot project launched in Norwich before Christmas.

Venues in Norwich could give kits to people who believed they had been spiked for samples to be analysed by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mr Postles Apothecary offers bottomless prosecco as well as a mezze board Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Postles' Apothecary in Norwich - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Keir Slater, general manager of Mr Postles' Apothecary in Upper King Street, said venues across Norwich were well-trained in supporting victims of spiking, 

He added: "This licensing idea is quite hard to quantify but it is a nice idea in principle. If there are places that have continued spiking, owners should have to prove what is being done to improve the situation."

The bar and restaurant has had no spiking incidents but staff receive training in recognising the crime and helping people who believe they have been targeted.

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He added: "The training is a consistent part of running a bar. It is about reassuring people.

"We need to make sure staff talk to customers in a humane way. The night time industry has done a lot to improve this."

Lorna Street at the Stamp Out Spiking event at Voodoo Daddy's Showroom in Timberhill, Norwich on January 13

Lorna Street, from Norwich, who is an ambassador for Stamp Out Spiking charity - Credit: Oliver Hosier

Lorna Street, 25, Stamp Out Spiking's ambassador from Norwich, said the city has been proactive in working with courses offered by the charity.

However she added more could always be done.

She said: "I know people who work on doors and the problem is they see so much. Their judgement can be clouded and could be quick to assume someone is drunk."

She backed the concept about venues having to prove they are doing work to improve how they are tackling spiking for a licence renewal.

jess barnard

Jess Barnard has been a victim of serious sexual assault and street harassment, but she says the focus should be on challenging problematic male behaviour, not making new laws - Credit: Jess Barnard

Norwich campaigner Jess Barnard, who has organised protests regarding spiking in the past, added: "The focus is on legislation and that is part of the puzzle.

"Although looking at licences is helpful there should be education about this in schools."