Opinion: Increase in Mansfield spiking allegations is so worrying - but what on earth do they gain from it?

Having frequented the bars and clubs of Mansfield for many years, I can say I have always felt fairly safe and, seeing the immediate response from bar owners this week, I feel reassured they are doing all they can to protect their customers.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:40 pm

One question that has puzzled me this week though, is ‘why’?

When I first started going out in the Nineties and spiking became something to worry about, stories would surface of girls being spiked while on dates or because they were on their own and seemed like easy prey for predatory men and women looking for compliance.

This feels different though – whatever they seem to be using causes collapse and vomiting, not just memory loss – so what exactly is the point of it?

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The Mansfield Association of Late Night Venues met last week to discuss the incidents which had circulated on social media, and came up with a raft of measures which were quickly introduced to help protect their customers.

I think this quick action is fantastic and will hopefully dissuade anyone from attempting spikings in our town, but I believe we also need to take ownership of our own actions going forward.

Of the alleged incidents that have been reported so far, none have resulted in sexual assaults, and many of the victims have been helped by friends and family members to seek treatment and remain safe and this, for me, is key.

If you are planning a night out, ensure your phone is fully charged and emergency numbers are up-to-date.

Police have vowed to clamp down on spiking.

Stay with your friends, and visit the toilets in pairs, taking your drink with you.

If you see someone who is looking worse for wear and they appear to be alone, alert the venue’s door staff who can ensure the person is kept safe – they are trained to deal with intoxication and spiking and will seek medical attention if necessary.

If the worst does happen, make sure it is reported to the police immediately so evidence can be captured.

The night-time economy has had an extremely rough 18 months and these recent allegations are a real blow, but the town can be a safe, great night out if we all look out for each other.

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