Portsmouth safety group fears spiking predators could target smaller pubs and bars
CONCERNS have been raised that a tightening of security at some venues over spiking fears will push predators to easier targets.
It comes as a victim of sexual assault, who is believed to have been spiked, spoke out in The News saying the attack had left her feeling ‘weak and vulnerable’.
Harriet Evens, from Pompey Safe Space Scheme, is running a poster campaign calling out spiking in a bid to deter offenders.
The Prick Free Zone campaign is offering posters to bars, clubs and other venues.
But she fears increased security at bigger bars will push offenders to target smaller pubs.
She said: ‘The new technique of spiking by injection is incredibly dangerous and potentially lethal. Will someone have to die before Portsmouth and the nation take this crisis seriously?
‘It is incredibly difficult to monitor spiking and the most common approach applied by the night-time economy agents is to adopt a more thorough searching procedure before entry into the establishment.
‘The people intending to spike will only become more vigilant of this and more creative with where they hide the equipment on their persons.
‘This will also divert the perpetrators to venues with less intensive searching on doors where they will still carry out their hurtful actions.’
As reported, the posters says: ‘Spiking by injection or drink will not be tolerated in this bar,’ and adds: ‘If you are caught you will be reported to the police.’
Harriet added: ‘We are currently living through a spiking crisis where essentially women’s safety is compromised by simply engaging in everyday life.
‘This is an issue where currently not enough is being done to prevent this horrific act and the local community needs to pull together in order to tackle it.
‘How many more spiking cases must women endure before it is taken seriously and strong, aggressive actions are put into place?
The Pompey Safe Space Scheme is setting up a city-wide network of registered safe spaces for victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and street harassment.
A similar scheme, the Spaces of Sanctuary SoS project, run by Portsmouth City of Sanctuary, has 20 venues offering a safe haven for people. Training will start next month for people involved.