Thursday, 21 October 2021
Content warning: This message concerns spiking and, as such, contains references that some readers may find distressing.
We are aware of increased reports of spiking in cities across the UK. These reports are extremely concerning and part of a pattern of violence against women* that the University of Nottingham and the University of Nottingham Students’ Union condemn and will not tolerate.
The university and Students’ Union will continue to work closely with Nottinghamshire Police and the city’s nightlife providers to identify further action to make venues more secure and challenge the behaviours which lead to such criminal misogynistic actions.
Nobody should feel unsafe on a night out. We want Nottingham to be a place where everyone feels safe and welcome, regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, faith, nationality or identity.
Spiking is an illegal offence and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Nottinghamshire Police have a team dedicated to the investigation of these reports and will deploy more officers to patrol the city centre during the evenings to ensure that venues and people on a night out are safe.
The responsibility for spiking lies solely with the perpetrators, and it is never your fault if you are spiked on a night out. Our priority is to keep our community safe and identify the people responsible.
If you’re planning a night out in the city this weekend, we ask everyone to please be extra vigilant and look out for your friends.
- Be cautious of anyone who offers you or your friends drinks – make sure you see them being prepared at the bar;
- Keep an eye on your friends’ drinks and don’t let them drink from them if they have been left unattended;
- Make sure you stick together, keep track of where everyone is and don’t leave any of your friends on their own;
- If you suspect one of your friends’ drinks has been spiked, tell the venue as soon as possible and seek medical advice if your friend is unwell.
Anyone who has been a victim of spiking should report it to the Police as soon as possible. Anyone who is a victim of – or witnesses – harassment of any kind, whether on or off campus, can report it and/or seek support using our Report and Support service.
Education and sexual consent
Next week is Sexual Consent Awareness Week at the University of Nottingham where we are encouraging all students to find out more about how we can make our community a safer, more supportive space.
We can all do better to help make women* feel safer and be safer:
- Educate yourself. No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to learn – engage with the resources we’ll be sharing as part of Sexual Consent Awareness Week;
- Listen. Listen to the experiences of those who have been victims of - or witnessed - misogyny, harassment or unacceptable behaviours of any form – and think about steps you can take to make a difference;
- Challenge. When you see misogynistic or inappropriate behaviour, challenge it – tolerance of this behaviour is part of the problem;
- Accept no. ‘No’ is not an invitation to persuasion or debate – respect the decision;
- Keep your distance. Respect the personal space of women*, especially in nightclubs, and don’t walk behind them in the dark - remain vigilant of such behaviour;
- Act. If you suspect someone may have been a victim of spiking stay with them, report it to venue staff and seek medical assistance.
For more information, please visit the University’s Safety in The City webpages and Spiked Drinks - Nottinghamshire Police.
If you need support or are affected by anything mentioned in this statement, there are many services available to you, including Nottingham Nightline, Victim Support UK and TogetherAll. You'll find details of all of these on the HealthyU webpages and don't forget you can also use our Report and Support tool.