Hounslow Council and its partners as part of a safety campaign aimed at pub and club-goers in the borough are encouraging people to watch what they are drinking and keep a lid on it on their night out
Published: Wednesday, 31st January 2024
Council Community Safety, Public Health and Licensing officials within the Council have joined forces with the police and the borough’s licensed trade to end the alarming and growing trend in drinks-spiking across London.
This dangerous and illegal practice involves predatory criminals secretly adding drugs or larger quantities of alcohol to their unsuspecting victim's drinks in a bid to disorientate and ultimately take advantage of them.
To combat this and to raise awareness about personal safety, the Council is sending out specially designed drink coasters to venues across the borough.
The mats not only display a strong safety message, they have a practical use as well.
When you’re enjoying your drink, you can rest it on the mat and when you’re not drinking, you can cover the glass with it to help prevent anything being added without your knowledge.
The reverse side of the mat has a QR code, which when scanned with a phone, will take the customer to an online information hub which includes information on how to identify and report drink spiking.
The information hub also details the Metropolitan Police’s Ask for Angela scheme, which provides support for pub and clubgoers who feel vulnerable or threatened on a night out.
Councillor Ajmer Grewal, Cabinet Member for Safety and Regulatory services, said: “These beer mats are a great way for people to feel more secure that their drinks have not been tampered with. It is vital to be raising awareness of such an important issue in a way that is informative and engaging. Safety for our residents and visitors is a priority for the council and the Ask for Angela scheme is a fantastic way for customers to feel safe by having a means to discretely indicate that they are in distress and receive the help they need without fuss.”
The Council campaign comes as a response to a London-wide increase in drink-spiking over the last five years and is part of a wider commitment to end violence against women and girls.
The typical signs that your drink has been spiked include dizziness, confusion, difficulty walking, nausea, blurred vision and tiredness. In some cases, it can also include hallucinations and feelings of paranoia.
The message from the partners is a simple one - if you suspect that your drink has been spiked, seek help and report it to the police as soon as you can.