Through funding from West Lancashire Borough Council’s Community Safety Partnership, the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) and the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, students have produced a series of resources aimed at helping others to keep themselves safe during a night out.
The move is part of Lancashire Constabulary’s ongoing work to prevent violence against women and girls and aims to provide information and guidance on where students can go for help and support.
During the first phase of the campaign, marketing students designed posters providing information on the symptoms of spiking, encouraging people to take care of themselves and their friends. These have been displayed around the University and also in local licensed premises. Funding from partners has also provided anti-spiking drinks covers which have been distributed at licensed premises.
The new addition to the campaign is an awareness video which has been produced by Creative Writing, Performing Arts, Media and Policing students, highlighting the dangers of leaving a drink unattended and ways in which students can get support on and off campus.
Lynda Brady, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), Edge Hill University, said:
“Our students have been at the centre of this campaign from the very start, and have already provided some fantastic practical ways to stay safe on a night out which have made a real impact across West Lancashire.
“It’s really important to be aware of the help and support on offer. This video is a powerful tool to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of drink spiking, as well as how to seek help if you need it.
“Keeping young people safe from harm remains a key priority and this work helps to ensure that they can exercise their freedom to enjoy a night out safely.”
Detective Sergeant Diane Higham said:
‘We want everyone to feel safe when they enjoy a night out in Lancashire and this project was born last year out of an increase in the number of reports of spiking. Thankfully, there is no longer an increase in reports but it’s important that people don’t become complacent and continue to do what they can to protect themselves on a night out.”
“We will continue to work with our partner agencies and licensed premises to look at prevention and sustainable solutions to this serious crime.”
“If you think that you have been a victim of spiking, contact the police immediately so that we can carry out appropriate tests and conduct enquiries. The message to those intent on causing harm is simple: spiking is not acceptable, and we will take positive action against those responsible.”
Paul Charlson, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership, said:
“This campaign was designed in response to concerns of drink spiking, both locally and in the national media. It was specifically created to ensure the students’ voice was at the centre and was delivered as part of the Community Safety Partnership’s annual Freshers Plan.
“As well as providing reassurance to students and visitors to the night-time economy, it also helps to build confidence in both the Police and the Community Safety Partnership by demonstrating our commitment to deliver against local and national community safety priorities.”
Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield, from Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, said:
“We are pleased to be supporting Edge Hill through the VRN’s Operation Night Guardian initiative and hope that through this initial supply of drink toppers throughout the county, awareness levels amongst premises and customers will remain high.
“We are continuing to develop further plans to support the project and are keen to work together with other organisations so that the issue of drink spiking can be prevented.”
Al Yusuf, LANPAC Manager, said:
“We are delighted to have supported Edge Hill students with the personal safety campaign in helping students stay safe and secured.”
You can report a crime to Lancashire Police by calling 101 or using the Report Online tool https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/PEDisclaimer/Create. Where a crime is in progress, always call 999.
Lancashire Victim Services offer free and confidential support. You do not have to report the incident to the police to get support from them. You can contact them directly via calling 0300 323 0085 or by chatting online at Lancashire Victim Services – Lancashire Victim Services
For more information about drink spiking, how to avoid it and what to do if you think have been a victim of this crime visit: www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/personal-safety/spiking/
Students are being asked to complete a survey on spiking to assist police and licensed premises in Ormskirk: https://edgehill.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/spikeaware2023
October 5, 2023