Scottish bars band together in safe word scheme for people who fear being spiked

28th October, 2021 8:54 am

This scheme has been started in Scotland as police have began an investigation into a number of alleged spikings and attacks at bars and clubs.

The heads of hospitality venues are calling on their staff to roll out a safe word scheme in order to tackle a surge in spiking cases in Edinburgh and beyond.

Police officers have kick-started an investigation into the number of alleged spiking incidents at bars and clubs in Scotland, the Daily Record also reports.

Various women have reported they were spiked via injection in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dundee in recent weeks.

Some victims have noted that they had been spiked via injection, and only realised so when they woke up with red stab marks on their arms and back following nights out.

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A rising number of people have been left fearing that their drinks have been spiked. (Image: Daily Record)

An overarching group who represent various Scottish venues have stated that pubs and clubs should train every member of staff to use the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme for any person who may feel uncomfortable , or has possibly been spiked.

The rules are as follows: you go up to a member of staff and ask if ‘Angela’ is working tonight, to alert staff that they are feeling vulnerable or in danger.

Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group also called for police to record the incidents specifically to show how widespread it is.

He said: “We need to know how big an issue this is. It doesn’t happen all the time but even one time, is one time too many. We have to work with everyone on this to tackle it.

“The Ask Angela scheme would be great to use and I’d call on it to be rolled out to deal with this problem.”

The original developers of the scheme were Lincolnshire County Council, before being adopted as a safety tactic nationwide across the UK.

It also was in response to the increase in internet dating.

Montgomery added: “It’s primarily been used in situations like where a woman feels like a man is coming on to them too strong.

“By going up to the bar and saying, ‘Is Angela there?’, it alerts staff that she feels vulnerable and they need to step in.

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Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group. (Image: Jim-McEwan)

“It’s used by a lot of venues but not them all. And we’d like to see it extended to include people who fear they have been spiked.

“If anyone is in any doubt at all they can go to the bar and ask for Angela. Bar staff and bouncers are there to help.

“I would push for it to be used across all big pubs and clubs. It will involve more training but would not be a massive burden on the hospitality trade.

The Ask for Angela campaign was adopted by the National Pubwatch in 2016 and drew worldwide attention and support from the likes of the US and Australia.

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Tony has said not enough support has been given. (Image: Daily Record)

Businessman Tony Cochrane, who owns nightclubs and adult venues across the country, said: “It is a good scheme and one my venues already use.

“We also offer customers spiking test kits, enclosed drinking vessels and a drink replacement scheme for full piece of mind.”

 

Source: Edinburgh Live, October 2021

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