Bars and pubs across Lincoln will begin testing drinks to see if they have been spiked as part of a new pilot scheme.
Some 10 venues in the city centre have signed up to the six month scheme as part of measures to keep people safe on a night out.
Drink Detective narcotic-testing kits have been handed out by research company Drug Lab 118 to participating venues, who will in turn supply feedback for further product development.
The small tests can quickly and easily detect the presence of the three most commonly used drugs in drink-spiking: ketamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstasy, amphetamine etc.
They can also detect rohypnol and other benzodiazephines including diazepam, and GHB.
Anyone on a night out at the following 10 venues can ask for their drink to be tested, should they have any concerns:
- Strait and Narrow
- Rogue Saint
- The Scene
- The Curiosity Shop
- Cardinal’s Hat
- Fever and Boutique
- Slug and Lettuce
- Vice and Co
It follows on the success of the ‘Ask for Angela‘ campaign where people who felt unsafe could ask bar staff for ‘Angela’ as a discreet call for help.
Hayley Child from Lincolnshire County Council’s Safer Communities Service said: “If you temporarily leave your drink unattended or if you’ve been bought a drink and have any suspicions about what it contains, staff in these bars will have kits on hand to give you the reassurance that you need.
“The bars taking part have already signed up to the Ask for Angela scheme and are showing their commitment to helping keep people safe.”
Colin Lyon, the CEO of Drug Lab 118 added: “Drug Lab 118 developed the Drink Detective test and created the #notinmydrink campaign to raise awareness of the endemic issue of drink spiking in parts of society, and to make the Drink Detective available to everyone.
Lincolnshire Police said that evidence does not suggest drink-spiking is a reoccurring issue in the county, but that it’s important to raise awareness.
Detective Inspector Dan Boulter from the Emerald Team at Lincolnshire Police, said: “Although the evidence doesn’t suggest that drug-spiking is common practice in Lincolnshire, we hope that people are made more aware of the importance of looking after themselves and their friends, on a night out.
“The most common cause of ‘drink-spiking’ is actually from alcohol – adding alcohol or higher-strength alcohol to someone’s drink without them knowing. This may be done as a joke, but is often done so a theft, assault or other crime can take place. Drink spiking is an offence, whatever the intention is.”