St Mary’s College has issued a warning to students about the risk of drink spiking whilst out and has urged students to monitor their drinks closely.
The same warning was repeated by Sgt Tim Robson of the Alcohol Reduction Unit in Durham Police.
He told Palatinate: “Never leave your drink unattended and be wary of strangers who purchase drinks for you and the pouring and delivery of drinks if they were not witnessed by yourself.”
Sgt Robson admitted that drink spiking incidents are very uncommon in Durham City, but that similar effects to drink spiking can be caused by other means.
He told Palatinate: “More often the individual has simply mixed their drinks and/or drunk far too much.
“Should anyone suspect their drink has been spiked then I would urge them to seek medical advice and ensure that a blood sample is taken.”
Both the problems of drink spiking and excessive drinking are being challenged by the City Safety group as a means of improving safety when clubbing.
Graham Towl, Deputy Warden of the River Safety Group, told Palatinate: “As part of the River Safety Group, we are doing all we can to help our students to keep themselves safe when out in Durham.”
Both the University and Students’ Union have increased their activity to improve safety when clubbing in Durham.
The Get Home safe scheme is one of the initiatives introduced, which aids vulnerable students getting home.
The Students’ Union has also introduced a night bus service, as well as a campaign, ‘Never Have I Ever’, which raises awareness of promoting positive behaviour when drinking on a night out, such as walking home with someone.
Durham University Christian Union has also introduced an initiative to offer support for those who seem intoxicated on evenings out.
Photograph: Peter Roberts