Universities are taking drastic measures to protect students from spiking, with freshers being given drinks covers, panic alarms and spike testing kits.
It comes after campuses throughout the United Kingdom saw a big growth in incidents this time last year. Perpetrators have been apparently concentrated on student areas and events, and a frightening wave of spiking via injection emerged – prompting students to begin talking out about the problem. Some even boycotted college nights out to elevate recognition and ensure “the issue of spiking is taken seriously”.
Student work app Stint carried out studies last year which found 4 in 5 college students have been concerned about spiking, which rose to 88% for women. With students returning to college for a new year, or heading to new cities for the first time to start their studies, many could be questioning what their institutions are doing to tackle the problem of spiking. The University of Bristol formerly told The Tab they have been searching into spiking trying out kits. One of the most common courses of action being taken by universities was to offer students with ‘drinks protectors’. These are covers that may be placed over a glass to prevent perpetrators placing some thing in it. Some universities could be together with those as a part of students’ ‘Welcome Kits’, while others have them ready to distribute at campus bars and clubs.
The University of Birmingham, the University of Exeter and the University of Sussex are among the ones operating accelerated bag searches in their venues, in an try and stop perpetrators before they have a chance to commit their crime. The University of Cardiff stated for a few events, they may from time to time use sniffer puppies at their venues “to support the identification of illegal substances.”
A spokesperson for the University of Sussex commented: “At the Students’ Union, we take reviews of potential harm to students very seriously. We have been working with local nightclubs in Brighton on how best to support students.” The college also hosts a night out with popular club Pryzm, and has been participating with sports activities clubs via its Sports Reps Committee to “hear their safety concerns and work together to make [Pryzm] a safe venue”.
They have bystander education schemes
The University of Exeter, who obtained reward from Universities UK for its “good practice response”, and the University of Oxford have brought bystander training. These schemes assist people be aware of the warning signs which suggest a person is planning to spike a victim, and encourage intervention if it is secure to do so. They also aim to challenge conversations or behaviours that may perpetuate unhelpful perceptions on spiking.
Many campaigners have additionally been calling for universities to introduce bystander intervention training to prevent sexual assault and harassment on campuses. A spokesperson additionally cited: “Our students can file any incident which has affected them, for example, possible times of spiking, thru our Report and Support tool. Every file, which may be anonymous if preferred, is followed up and absolutely investigated.” The University of Bristol cited that it operates the ‘Ask For Angela’ scheme in any respect of its bars. Universities UK, the ‘collective voice of universities throughout the UK’, has advised all universities to take movement.
The employer stated: “Spiking incidents are serious crimes of poisoning. They can be life-threatening, and have lasting impacts on students who revel in it and on their friends who witness it. “The risk of spiking happening restricts the ability for students (predominantly, however not only women) to socialise – freely and without fear – as part of their student experience.