We want to update you on the safety measures we are taking in The Forum to keep you safe, including the ways in which we are tackling spiking. We have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure robust measures are in place and will continue to do so.
Drink spiking is when someone has added something such as alcohol or drugs to your drink without you knowing. It is illegal. Spiking is never the fault of the victim. It is always the sole fault of the perpetrator. We will refer any suspicion of drink spiking to the Police.
SPOTTING THE SIGNS
Symptoms depend on a lot of different factors such as the type and amount of the drug or alcohol used, if you are taking any medication, your age and body size. Symptoms can develop within 5-20 minutes and last for up to 12 hours. Key symptoms to look out for are:
• Lowered inhibitions
• Loss of balance
• Visual problems
HOW TO HELP
What to do if you think a friend has been spiked:
• Tell a member of staff or security - they will notify our medical support
• Stay with them and keep talking to them
• Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
• Don’t let them go home on their own
• Don’t let them leave the venue with someone you don’t know or trust
• If possible, try and prevent them drinking more alcohol
The most important step to take to prevent drink spiking is to not spike anybody's drink. The fault of drink spiking is always with the perpetrator.
Here is some safety advice which you can follow to make yourself feel safer and help reduce the likelihood of being spiked:
• Before going out, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home
• Never accept a drink from anyone you don't know or completely trust
• Don't share or exchange drinks
• Never leave your drink unattended
• Keep your drink in your hand instead of on a surface
• Keep an eye on your friends' drinks
• Stay with your friends
• If you begin to feel unwell or disoriented, seek help from a trusted friend, member of staff or security
• Make plans for your journey home with friends and don't leave without each other
• Utilise our partnership with AAA Taxi's whose app can track your friend's journey home
• Remember that if you've already been drinking, it may make you less aware of any danger
A REMINDER AND CLARIFICATION
It is hard to tell if a drink has been spiked. Drugs are usually tasteless and have no smell or colour. If you feel unwell, uncomfortable or see someone acting suspiciously, please inform a member of staff or security who will notify our medical support.
No one should be subject to having something put in their drink if they haven’t asked for it. It is never ok. If you intend on spiking people, you are not welcome in our venue and shouldn’t be part of this brilliant student community. If you are caught, our venue policy is clear. You will receive a lifetime ban and you will be reported to the University and the Police.
The information we have used above regarding spiking has been provided by Drinkaware and Herts Police.
ENHANCED SAFETY MEASURES
We have introduced a number of enhanced measures to ensure the safety of students and guests in our venue:
We have free bottle stoppers available at the bar upon request.
We are awaiting a delivery of cup toppers and drink testing kits. These will also be available at the bar upon request and free of charge.
We have increased our searches of those coming into the venue. We ask that you are patient as this means waiting a little longer in the queue. Our searches include bags, pockets and pat downs to ensure no prohibited items enter the venue.
Please only bring the things you need into the venue (i.e. keys, phone, money and personal items). We do not allow any liquids into the venue. You can view the full list of prohibited items in your pre-event email
and on the Students' Union's website.
As part of the building refurb, we now have CCTV cameras covering all floors, stair wells, external areas and bars.
We have also deployed body worn cameras on management and security.
We continue to train our staff on safety, licensing and welfare.
We are in contact with the police on a regular basis to ensure we are up to date with crime prevention and we brief our staff accordingly.
If you are ever in need of assistance, please notify a member of staff in a black t-shirt, or security in a yellow high-visibility jacket.
We also have a fully qualified paramedic on site to support in emergencies.
All staff in the venue have been trained on the 'Ask for Angela' scheme.