Campaign success sees further roll-out of anti-spiking kits

NNUH biomedical scientist Michelle Frost, who has developed anti-spiking test kits

NNUH biomedical scientist Michelle Frost, who has developed anti-spiking test kits - Credit: NNUH

Spiking kits pioneered by a leading Norwich biomedical scientist have been rolled out into 17 new venues.

Michelle Frost, a specialist from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, has developed a test kit to determine whether revellers have been spiked while on nights out.

It is part of a campaign against the criminal practice, which came after a spate of spiking incidents last year in which victims were given drugs or substances either through their drinks or injections.

The kits were initially rolled out to 20 venues across the city, but after a successful pilot they are being provided to 17 more, including in Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

Among those to be provided are Britannia Pier, The Empire, Peggotty's and Uptown Bar in Great Yarmouth and the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston - along with the SOS Bus in King's Lynn.

The kits have been funded by Norfolk's police and crime commissioner.

Ms Frost said: "This really is now starting to take off with more venues coming on board. It means we can make sure that people going out can feel safe and we can really start to find out the true extent of this problem.

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“The pilot exceeded our expectations. Pre-pilot reported spiking incidents were at an all-time high, but since the implementation of the campaign, reports in incidents have dropped.

"This is great for public reassurance, and it may mean those performing the acts of spiking have been deterred. We are also gathering some really important data of the substances in use, which has never been collected in such a way before."

PCC Giles Orpen-Smellie, said: “People should be able to go out and enjoy their evenings, safe from the fear of being assaulted.

"We absolutely want anyone who becomes a victim of spiking assault to report it to the police and these kits are a really helpful way for someone to take action to confirm whether they have been spiked, and what with.

"By funding this programme, I hope that we are able to help provide some reassurance to those who may be concerned but also to support the police in their work in understanding the true extent and nature of these offences.”