Men and women will boycott bars and nightclubs in Lincoln this evening due to concerns about a rise in ‘spiking’ incidents.
The Lincoln Night In event on October 27 is part of the national Girls Night In movement – recently changing its name to become more inclusive. It aims to empty the streets of the city, protesting the prevalence of spiking in the nighttime economy.
Organisers of the Lincoln event say they hope to “demonstrate a statement of solidarity and symbolic action against women, whilst promoting safer streets and creating a better dialogue surrounding these issues.”
Fears have grown among revellers, particularly with stories surfacing of people being spiked with needles.
Lincolnshire Police said that eight cases of drink spiking were reported to them in the first weeks of October. While none of those reported involved needles, stories have emerged that were not reported to police.
Some campaigners have been critical of the move, suggesting victims should not miss out, and venues financially penalised.
An online petition asking the UK Government to impose laws on nightclubs to search all guests on arrival has now reached almost 170,000 signatures.
Councillor Calum Watt, City of Lincoln Councillor for the Boultham Ward, said he was pleased to see young people standing up and participating.
“It is unfortunately common to dismiss the issue as something which “just happens” sometimes on nights out – with the blame often falsely landing on the victim for “not keeping an eye on their drink”. But the alleged use of intravenous needles being used in these attacks, has brought the issue into sharp focus and it is quite plain that more now needs to be done to protect people on nights out in Lincoln and elsewhere,” he said.
“The solutions lie in education and in nightclubs improving the way they look after their patrons – it is hardly an unreasonable demand, and one which we must heed now, or else risk an epidemic of spiking or drugging incidents costing the health and possibly even the lives of people simply looking to enjoy a night on the town.”
Venues across the city have been implementing a number of procedures to address the issues surrounding drink spiking. The Strait and Narrow reiterated that it was the first bar in the world to run the Ask For Angela scheme.
Home Lincoln and sister businesses Moka, Bierkeller and Void have introduced testing kits for suspected spiked drinks, as well as toppers to block any potential spiking.
If you have been affected by spiking in Lincoln, and wish to speak to a journalist, you can get in touch with the team confidentially via [email protected] or 01522 837217.