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Local News

Fears drink spiking in Sheffield is on the rise as five staff from same bar targeted in one month

today12/10/2021

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Sheffield venues and nightclubbers have reported an increase in suspected drink spiking cases in recent weeks, with one bar claiming five members of staff have been victimized within the last month when off-duty.

The news comes after several incidents were also reported over the summer, including a teenager who suffered seizures after being spiked on a night out in Sheffield, and a student who was found unconscious on the side of the road after being targeted.

“It is a massive issue that we’re aware of in Sheffield at the minute,” confirmed Becky Ford, assistant manager at Turtle Bay.

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She was unaware of any reported incidents at the venue but said there have been multiple cases in Sheffield bars and clubs.

Ms Ford said: “Out of my 19 waiters, five have been spiked on a night out in Sheffield in the last three weeks.

“There’s quite a lot of fear. Myself personally, and a lot of my waiters just don’t want to go out in Sheffield anymore.”

She said those she knew who had been targeted felt unwell and sometimes blacked out, but that they all returned home safely.

Some either left or were kicked out of venues by bouncers who thought they were drunk, though, according to Ms Ford.



The popular Sheffield club is offering clingfilm for people to cover their drinks with
Leadmill has started offering clingfilm for people to cover their drinks with in a bid to prevent clubbers being spiked

Talking of one woman’s experience, Ms Ford said: “They found her halfway down the road with some random boys, and her friends found her and chased them away.”

She added: “One of our waiters said there were 15 other girls that got spiked in the same venue on the same night.

“It is not a good time to be a woman in Sheffield at the moment.”

Ms Ford said she noticed cases increasing a couple of weeks before university students began returning to Sheffield.

In recent weeks Turtle Bay has installed two new CCTV cameras in the bar area, she said, and security guards are also used.



Molly Malone's Irish Tavern
Molly Malone’s Irish Tavern

Alex Highton, Assistant Manager at Molly Malone’s Irish Tavern, said the venue also uses similar security measures, including hiring experienced doormen who ID every person entering.

While he said the bar had experienced no confirmed cases when speaking to YorkshireLive in September, he was aware of reports in the city.

“To hear that everybody around us is coming down to this drug spiking and we haven’t had a single spiking is incredible,” said Mr Highton.

Other venues keen to protect their customers have also been adapting new safety measures, with the Leadmill now offering cling film to anyone who wants to cover their drink.

Craig Jordan says he and his wife, Claire, will be taking additional precautions after she fell ill on a night out in Sheffield city centre in August.

After seeing an online post shared by another woman claiming to be spiked in the same venue Claire visited, they now suspect she was also spiked.

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Luckily her friends rang her husband, and he was able to help her get home safely.

Mr Jordan said: “She was in a real state. She was trying to be sick as well as falling asleep. I had to carry her into the house from the car.

“It scares you to death. Luckily nine times out of ten I pick my wife up, but you think, if I didn’t could it have escalated.”

Mr Jordan also said his wife’s friends had watched their drinks carefully, taking videos as they were carried over from the bar.

“I was shocked. You never think that it will happen to someone you know,” he added.

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Student Alex Clough was also surprised when he found out many of his friends had been spiked.

He said: “I spent summer away from Sheffield and when I came back and spoke to my friends, I was expecting potentially the odd story or two, oh a friend of a friend, but they went around the room and they all told their own individual stories of what happened to them.”

Now, he says he will actively avoid specific venues.

Mr Clough explained: “There’s certain places in Sheffield that I went to when you had to sit down in a bar, but now hearing more stories about them since social distancing has eased, I will just avoid because I’ve heard that many stories that I wouldn’t want to face that risk.”

Chief Inspector Stuart Walne said: “I absolutely understand that reports of drink spiking at venues in Sheffield are concerning to people and I want to reassure you that enquiries are ongoing where incidents have been reported to us.

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“We have very strong relationships with local venues and businesses within our night-time economy and our licensing teams are in constant contact with management and staff.

“Venues have been made aware of recent concerns through our established networks and partnership meetings to ensure any incidents are reported quickly to police.

“It’s vital that people report any incidents to us as soon as they can, this means we can build up a picture of where this might be happening and work to identify the offenders.

“I’d also like to remind people to look after each other on nights out, it sounds simple but don’t let your drinks out of your sight and keep an eye on your group.

“Be vigilant around strangers and report anything suspicious to the venue or the police.

“If you think you’ve been spiked, get to a safe place with people you know. It might be tempting to get outside, but stay with a friend and seek medical attention.”

To get the latest email updates from South Yorkshire Live, click here.

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today12/10/2021