Bristol

Bath Spa University to hand out drink spike testing cards

Group of friends drinking stock image Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Avon and Somerset police said there were 41 incidents of drink spiking in 2015, which rose to 85 in 2018

New students at Bath Spa University are getting drug spiking test cards in a bid to improve their personal safety.

Avon and Somerset police figures show 41 reported incidents of drink spiking in 2015, rising to 85 in 2018.

The police said some cases were not reported, so the figure may be higher.

Rebekah Self from the university's student' union said: "With it being a student's first experience of nightlife, we want them to be as safe as possible."

She said the union was working with the university to include the testing kits in welcome packs.

'Patches of memory'

"If people are aware that it's common to carry these cards, then it's going to be a lot harder to spike someone successfully," said Ms Self.

She said although women were typically targeted, she had noticed it was increasingly happening to men as well, making them vulnerable to assault and theft.

Siona Rose was a 21-year-old student in Bristol was raped after her drink was spiked.

Ms Rose, who has waived her right to anonymity, said: "I had, had a few drinks but not that many, and I was sort of dancing around having a good time.

"I remember that every time I was on the dance floor, and every time I looked up there was this man watching me.

"I have patches of memory - later in the evening I remember talking to this man and being very confused as to why I was there and why I was talking to him.

"I remember being in a taxi and not knowing where I was or where I was going or who I was with and then I remember nothing."

Show positive

The testing kits are being produced by a local publishing house called Rat Tales whose staff have also noticed the problem.

Lou Mudge, from Rat Tales, said: "We saw that it had happened to several of our friends and we wanted to do something about it.

"There are two tests, one test for amines which appear in everything from ketamine to LSD, ecstasy, and you have another square which tests for GBH."

The cards work by placing a drop of the drink on to the patches, which will then show positive if any traces of drugs are found.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said it wanted people to come forward to report drink spiking.

Image caption Rat Tales has started making the drug test kits

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