Folkestone & Hythe District Council & Kent Police have been providing advice to bar and pub goers in the district about enjoying their nights out safely in the town.
Beer mats have been designed with a straw hole and safety information added, specifically to prevent unattended drinks being ‘spiked’ (having substances added to them without the drinker being aware).
The teams called in at over 20 night-time venues during the evening on Saturday 27 November 2021 and gave out hundreds of ‘spiking prevention’ beer mats along with safety advice and information to those running the venues as well as their patrons.
Saturday’s event was part of a wider campaign designed to ensure the district’s night-time venues remain a safe space for all. The teams also promoted the harassment training that the Folkestone & Hythe District Community Safety Unit delivered on 30 November, which included details about the ‘Ask Angela’ initiative. An initiative that some venues in the town have already received training for.
‘Ask Angela’ is designed to enable those who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened to discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase alerts staff that help is needed and a trained member of staff will then provide support and assistance.
Cllr Jenny Hollingsbee, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The success of Saturday’s event is heartening to hear, it is reassuring that so many of district’s night-time venues are lending their support to our safety campaigns”
“Working with our partners and our night-time venues, we will continue to strive to ensure that our district is a safe place to enjoy an evening out.”
Detective Inspector Sheena Barrell, from Folkestone’s Community Safety Unit, said: “Folkestone remains a safe place to live, work and enjoy yourself and schemes such as this are amongst many that we are undertaking with partners to keep it that way”.
“Kent Police understands that recent reports of drink spiking from elsewhere in the UK will have caused concern to the public everywhere. We take all reported incidents seriously and are working closely with night-time venues to ensure members of staff recognise the signs of spiking as well as any other criminal behaviour”
“We encourage people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security staff in the first instance so immediate action can be taken and everyone can continue to socialise safely.”
Anyone who thinks their drink may have been spiked should report it at kent.police.uk/ro/report/ or by calling 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.
You can find out more about the work our Community Safety Partnership do on our website.