Radio Bath News Three

Joining the fight against spiking

Bath’s spiking epidemic may come to an end with the Safe and Secure: Stop Spiking Campaign.
By Amber Hill (featured image:

Feeling safe on a night out, especially in cities like Bath and Bristol, is a goal that many are striving towards. In the last few years, the problem of spiking has hit the media in full force; horror stories circulate almost everywhere, deterring people from enjoying a night out to its fullest potential. Gone are the days when you could leave your drink unattended while you visited the bathroom, and many now watch their drinks even while they are being made, aware of how easy it is to let down your guard – and regret it later.

In response to this, the Bath Business Improvement District have launched their Safe and Secure: Stop Spiking Campaign. Alongside Avon and Somerset Police and the Bath/Northeast Somerset Council, this campaign promotes a unification of Bath’s night-time economies to tackle this issue and make people feel safer. Allison Herbert, CEO of the Bath Business Improvement District, elaborates on how this campaign came into being and its origins.

“We became aware of this campaign that was being led locally called ‘Girls Night In’, where young women were coming together and saying let’s not go into the city centre businesses”. This boycott of Bath’s nightlife was also reflected in bigger cities like London and Manchester, with hundreds of women, especially University students, taking part. Tired of feeling ‘gaslit’ by the police and feeling vulnerable in clubs, participants took matters into their own hands.

“For too long spiking has been an ingrained part of university and going out culture and for too long the issue of women’s safety has been a women’s problem”
– Joscelin Story, a supporter of the Girls Night in Campaign. Credit: BBC

The Bathscape volunteers embark on various projects around the city, with recent endeavors involving the planting of “24 trees” and the natural enrichment of the Burial Ground in Odd Down. With no space too big or small for the team of volunteers, chances are you’ve probably seen them digging around town. If you’ve ever wondered how you can get your hands dirty with the people responsible for Bath’s green spaces, here is a guide to helping out the green team.

Working towards a spike-free future

However, this did have an impact on businesses, which lost out on potential income as a result of the campaign. In response, these night-time economies clubbed together and decided to face the spiking challenge head-on. Solutions included training staff on what to do when they think that someone has been spiked, how to deal with a potential victim of spiking, how to contact the authorities and how to test drinks for the most common substances, so that convictions can be made

Radios and other forms of communication have been introduced, helping door staff to get support when they are dealing with a spike victim or notice the potential that someone might get spiked. This also ensures coordination between various venues.

For Allison, this is crucial to improving the conditions of Bath’s nightlife and reputation. These measures are crucial, she says, to “making sure that people can come into Bath and know that they can have a safe night out”.

For those businesses that aren’t already part of the scheme, it is urged that they, too, take part.” I would urge anybody who is listening to this and hasn’t heard about it to get in touch with us”, Allison says, in the hopes that Bath could soon become a spike-free city.