A university club event manager has acknowledged that plans to put cling film over drinks to prevent spiking is not a perfect solution but hopes it will offer “an extra layer of assurance” to clubbers.
Ben Lewis, who manages the weekly Woo Cambridge event, said the issue “wasn’t on our radar last week as much as it is this week” and more needs to be done at venues across the UK.
Ahead of its event this Wednesday evening, the club is offering a cling film covering for drinks to guests as a “temporary measure” before more permanent methods of prevention can be put in place.
It comes following a reported increase in the number of instances of spiking at some UK universities, resulting in an online campaign to boycott nightclubs.
Mr Lewis, 24, told the PA news agency his team had looked at several different preventative measures that could be implemented quickly ahead of the event.
“We’re aware that there’s a nationwide problem and people want something done about it… and we wanted to do something before opening tonight,” he said.
“We researched quite a few different measures… but we didn’t think any of them would really work properly.
“So while it’s not the perfect solution at all, tonight we’ll have cling film, then next week we’ll have proper drink stoppers… for free for customers that want them.
“It’s a strong cling film and it’s more for people when they’re not drinking to have a little bit of peace of mind.
“We know it’s not a perfect solution but we simply couldn’t get the official measures in time.”
Campaigners from more than 30 universities who plan to join the nightclub boycott say they are seeking “tangible” changes to address a problem that has become an “epidemic”.
Mr Lewis said both event and venue staff would be given specialist training and extra security would be put in place to identify and protect those who looked “tipsy or a little bit vulnerable”.
“It wasn’t on our radar last week as much as it is this week… and because it is a nationwide problem I think every venue in the UK has gone and ordered the official measures,” he said.
“(The cling film) was more to reassure people that it was on our minds and we’re trying to do something about it… it’s not just ‘oh yeah, we’ll sort it out next week’.
“I don’t think it offers concrete reassurance but… I think it makes it at least a little bit more difficult to spike someone and that’s the crux of the issue.
“The issue should have been at the forefront of our minds but… after two years of not clubbing, I think it is quite easy for everyone to be comfortable, including customers.”
He added: “We should really have had a few more awareness posters in the venue and every venue in the UK should have.
“One positive thing is that this campaign has brought it back to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
“Everyone’s security and safety is always number one.”
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