October 20, 2021 3.08 pm

Lincoln women plan to boycott city nightclubs over spiking fears

Women are coming forward with their stories

Women in Lincoln are planning to boycott all bars and nightclubs in the city next Wednesday in response to the recent spate of alleged drink spiking and drug injecting at UK venues.

An Instagram account called Girls Night In Lincoln has been formed in response to a range of national events calling for a nightlife boycott on Wednesday, October 27.

It comes as Lincolnshire Police is investigating several reports of drinks being spiked in Lincoln city centre in recent weeks, after three women were reported to have been unwell and disoriented in a bar on Friday, October 8.

Detective Sergeant George Wynn, Lincoln CID, said: “Drink spiking is a serious crime and one that we won’t tolerate here in Lincolnshire.

“We want people to have fun and enjoy themselves during a night out and whilst we will do all that we can to tackle this, we recommend taking preventative measures too, such as never leaving your drink unattended and never accepting a drink when you haven’t seen it being prepared in front of you.”

It is hoped that the boycotts will raise awareness of the issue of drink spiking across the country, which has been called an ‘epidemic’ and prompted some women to feel unsafe at night.

Protests on Hungate, outside Home nightclub, following the murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The account has amassed over 750 followers in 24 hours and is posting guidance and support for people who may have experienced spiking or sexual assault, as well as sharing anonymous alleged first-hand accounts.

Boycotts have been planned in big cities such as Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh and Nottingham, as well as Lincoln, as calls get louder for more action to be taken against these incidents.

There are calls for greater repercussions for abusers, training for nightclub staff to prevent the incidents at source, CCTV inside bars, better support for victims and a response from government.

A petition demanding that thorough searches are conducted for everyone attending nightclubs recently hit 100,000 signatures, meaning the issue will be discussed in the Houses of Commons.

A spokesperson for the Girls Night In Lincoln Instagram account told The Lincolnite: “The boycott in Lincoln has been encouraged by nationwide events, however this platform is aware that Lincoln has been subjected to many cases of spiking throughout the city.

“We hope to achieve some form of change, such as nightclubs and bars tackling this issue more seriously, as well as creating better safeguards.

“After a year of significant attention in the media about the violence subjected to women this is another movement that highlights the severity of this issue. Although spiking impacts more women than men it is still a universal issue regardless of gender.”

The women behind the account, who choose to remain anonymous, have been sharing various stories from people who claim to have experienced spiking, injection or sexual assault on nights out in Lincoln.

What nightclubs are doing

Home nightclub in Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Home Lincoln has issued a statement in response to the recent reports of drink spiking, calling it “absolutely unacceptable for anybody to have to live in fear of being spiked on nights out.”

The venue, and its sister businesses Moka, Bierkeller and Void have introduced testing kits to see if your drink has been spiked, as well as spikeys and toppers to put on the top of drinks, which will block any potential spiking of drinks.

A spokesperson for the nightclub said: “As a venue, customer safety is our top priority and we are committed to ensuring that it’s a safe environment for everyone.

“If you are at one of our events and experience or witness anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please speak to a member of staff or security immediately so we can investigate.

“Anyone caught spiking a drink in our venue will be banned and reported to the police.”

The Strait and Narrow also posted this week to address the national conversation around drink spiking and women’s’ safety.

The bar said: “You go out to have fun right? It’s our job to make sure you do. A massive part of that is to make sure you’re safe. It’s something we take very seriously.

“We were the first bar in the World to run Hayley Crawford’s #AskForAngela scheme. It launched here, we’re proud of that but it’s sad that we have to be. It’s sad we have to do it.

“We’ve had Drink Aware testing kits behind the bar for the last 3+ years to test anyone’s drink if they’ve any doubts about there being something in there that shouldn’t be.

“We’ve been open nearly 9 years and in that time we’ve stood up against A LOT of behaviour that we’ve seen in the city – from customers, our peers in the industry and in general.

“We don’t want recognition for this… we just want the behaviour to stop so if you’re doing it – don’t. If you see it, call it out. Now.”

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