Date published: 26 April 2023 09:57

We know how worrying reports of spiking can be to those wanting to enjoy a night out.

Spiking is when someone adds drugs or alcohol to another person’s drink without them knowing.

It is illegal.

There are a number of steps you can take to help you stay safe when you are out and about.

We know we shouldn't need to ask this of you, but please consider the following tips and share them with your friends and family:

-  Never lose sight of your drink - keep an eye on it from the moment you order it and never leave it unattended. If you need to nip to the loo, make sure a friend is watching your drink.

-  Whilst it’s great to meet new people, be cautious if someone offers you a drink. If you haven’t seen it being prepared, refuse it. If it doesn’t taste right, don’t finish it.

-  Feeling unwell and think you may have been spiked? Seek medical advice and stay with someone you know. It might be tempting to get outside and away from a crowd but stay in a safe place. Tell a staff member at the bar, club or venue as quickly as possible and report to police as soon as you can.

- If you’re heading on a night out with friends, always plan how you are going to get home in advance.

-   Make sure your phone is charged up before you head out. Consider buying a portable charger to take out with you in case you need a boost.

-  If you’re leaving a night out on your own, always tell a friend where you are going and ask them to check in on you. Similarly, always check in on your friends if they have to leave an event early by themselves. If you are getting home by yourself, consider downloading a tracking app on your smart phone to share your location with friends or family and let them know when you are safely home. Never let a drunk friend go home on their own, always accompany them.

- If you decide to take a taxi, make sure they are licensed by checking they have a medallion number. Always try and pre-book your taxi wherever possible.

-  If you’re using Uber, did you know you can share your journey with a friend? This means they can watch your journey home on their own smartphone. Simply tap ‘share my trip’ under settings and select the contact or contacts you would like to share with.

-    If you have an iPhone, did you know you can set up emergency SOS? This means that you can call 999 and send an immediate GPS location to your emergency contacts by pressing the side button five times.

-    If you have been a victim of a crime, it is not your fault. If someone is making you feel unsafe, call the police. Call 101 or 999 in an emergency. We are here and we will listen to you.

The more information we have, big or small, provides us with a better chance of identifying linked incidents or those responsible.

Our officers continue to patrol venues across South Yorkshire, helping them to ensure security measures are in place. If you see our officers on a night out, please do feel free to say hello, they are there to help and support you.

You can view information from the NPCC here.

Our officers continue to patrol town and city centres to help to keep you safe.