POLICE have given their backing to a campaign to raise awareness about the spiking of drinks and encourage more people to report it.
Girls Against Spiking was set up in September 2018 with the aim of giving information and advice about keeping safe.
The group is campaigning to encourage bars and nightclubs to provide cups with lids to prevent people’s drinks being spiked on a night out.
The University of Strathclyde union in Glasgow was the first establishment to offer lids for all drinks served at its bars on a trial basis.
Student Cara Teven, founder of Girls Against Spiking, said: “Drink spiking can happen to everyone regardless of gender, age or sexuality and for that reason it is an issue everyone should be concerned about.”
Police Scotland has now given its backing to the campaign.
Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, lead for Crime and Protection, said: “We are supporting Girls Against Spiking to help raise awareness of drink spiking and encourage people to report these incidents.
“Drinks can be spiked using drugs or alcohol and there is not always a sexual purpose behind it.
“We are aware of incidents where people spike a friend’s drink on a night out because they think it’s funny.
“This can put that person at risk as you have no idea how a drug or excess alcohol will affect someone, their actions and their safety.
“Lids will help reduce the chance of your drink being spiked and we fully support the campaign to reduce the likelihood of drink spiking for men and women.
“We always encourage people not to leave their drink unattended or let a stranger buy you a drink without knowing what’s in it.
“We want people to be able to enjoy themselves and have a safe night out.”
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre, which works with partners including Police Scotland, is also supporting the campaign through its Best Bar None scheme.
Licensed premises can apply to join the scheme where they are assessed and scored on issues such as prevention of crime and public safety.