Student union apologises for drink spiking posts after outcry

UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The University of East Anglia's (UEA) student union has apologised for causing upset after a series of social media posts in response to a recent spate of drink spiking.

The posts were designed to offer 'top tips' to students to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe night out.

But some youngsters criticised the nature of the posts saying the slides seemed to place the blame on the victim. 

One comment from an Instagram user said: "I'm shocked by the order and format of these slides. The idea that the responsibility to not be spiked takes up the majority of these slides." 

In response, a spokeswoman for the UEA student union said the posts were meant to address students' concerns about spiking which had caused alarm. 

"It was never our intention to victim blame and we are sorry we caused upset," she said.

"We wanted to acknowledge this terrible situation - we believe people shouldn’t have to take steps to protect themselves. We believe that people should not be spiking.

Generic UEA, University of East Anglia. Picture: Supplied

UEA student union officers have urged students to report if they suspect their drinks have been spiked on a night out. - Credit: UEA

"However there are those acting in this criminal way and until we can identify them and hold them to account, we have a duty of care to our members." 

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The UEA union felt it had a responsibility to highlight the steps people can take to help prevent those who causing harm. 

"We train our door, bar and venue staff to look out for and help support those who experience this unacceptable behaviour," the spokeswoman added. 

"We take spiking very seriously. If you are found to have spiked someone, we will ban you from our venues, we will contact the police, and we will be notifying the university - they will investigate you.

"You could be permanently excluded from the UEA and you could end up with a criminal record." 

Close up Image Of Man Drugging Woman's Drink In Bar

Drink spiking reports have increased in recent months - Credit: Getty Images

Venues across the city are also introducing measures to help combat spiking with foil-lined plastic lids - called StopTopps - being used at Epic Studios and Cans 'N' Cocktails. 

It comes after the Evening News had been contacted by UEA students who came forward to tell of their experiences of being spiked. 

One student described being unable to see, walk or stand up, and was violently sick after being spiked.