Restaurants, bars and pubs in Coventry city centre are introducing a range of anti-spiking measures as Christmas party season gets underway.
Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) is working with venues across the city on a campaign which targets the spiking of drinks.
Christmas party season will see thousands of people head into the city centre every night throughout December to celebrate with colleagues, friends and family.
Coventry BID has purchased thousands of items to give out to venues in the city, which will then be available free of charge to people visiting for drinks, food or a dance.
It has invested in enough items to cover every levy-paying business in the city centre, with 20,000 DrinkSafe anti-spiking covers, 17,500 bottle toppers and 1,000 DrinkSafe testing strips to allow venue to spot-check if a drink has been spiked.
The items have been handed out to 27 venues in the city centre
The covers can be placed over the top of a drink, with a straw piercing the lid, while the testing strips can quickly identify if a drink has been spiked – which will allow medical teams to act correctly and efficiently if necessary.
It builds on Coventry BID’s work to roll out programmes in the city to increase safety across the night-time economy.
This has included working with Coventry City Council to increase the roll-out of the Best Bar None accreditation programme, which awards and recognises excellence at alcohol-licensed premises, leading to a safer and improved experience for customers,
The BID has also introduced an ‘Ask For Angela’ scheme – a way for anyone who feels vulnerable in a bar or venue to discreetly ask for help from staff.
Coventry BID has been operating in the city centre for 20 years and was voted in by levy paying businesses for its fifth five-year term earlier this year.
It has purchased items which will cover all of the levy-paying night time economy businesses in the city centre.
Coventry BID manager Joanne Glover said: “Spiked drinks continue to be a problem which venues across the country have to battle on a nightly basis, and nationwide the risk increases over the Christmas period.
“Our bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants are at their busiest in the lead-up to Christmas, and we have introduced these anti-spiking measures to help protect customers, but also allow venues to act quickly if they suspect someone has been spiked.
“We would urge anyone who fears their drink has been spiked to approach staff at the venue they are at and ask for a testing strip. This will not only indicate if that drink has been affected, but could also protect other customers in the venue.
“Safety of visitors in the city centre is our top priority. Coventry is home to some incredible pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, and we want people to enjoy them without worrying this Christmas.”
Reece Ridgway, General Manager at Turtle Bay in Coventry, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to Turtle Bay over the next few weeks for their Christmas celebrations.
“We are committed to working with Coventry BID to ensure everyone feels safe in our venue, whether that is through the Ask for Angela scheme or the new anti-spiking items which will be available to all of our guests
To find out more about Coventry BID visit www.coventrybid.co.uk