There has been an increase in the number of reported drink spiking cases across Durham University during this years Freshers Week.
Alleged spiking cases have taken place at numerous locations across the city, affecting students from a number of university colleges. The assaults have resulted in a number of students needing to stay overnight in hospital.
Spiking is a form of assault, that can carry a sentence of up to ten years in prison.
Durham Student newspaper Palatinate spoke to Jimmy Allen's bar in regard to the latest spiking cases: "We are aware of an increase in spiking in the Durham area. Our bar staff and door staff are being additionally vigilant towards this and we ask our customers to do the same.”
“We have not had a confirmed spiking in Jimmy Allen’s but we are aware of incidents through the city of Durham.”
Neighborhood Policing Sergeant Jason Mole of Durham Constabulary said: “Drink spiking is a serious offence and we will always take any reports of this type of crime seriously so encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim to get in touch by calling 101.”
“I would also urge them to seek medical advice immediately and ensure that a hospital blood sample is taken to aid us in an investigation.”
The following report is shared with thanks to Palatinate TV
Meanwhile, a student welfare "Tweet" has come under fire, accused of victim blaming for promoting the hashtag #dontgetspiked
In a statement on their twitter account, Durham University Student Wellbeing said: “We appreciate the feedback on our recent post about drink safety. Students have reported concerns to us about drink spiking on nights out. We take this very seriously, & work with the police & others on guidance to help people be safe & report incidents.
“We always aim to support our students & will take this opportunity to learn & improve our messages on this important topic. It is our duty to listen to you & address these difficult issues, including training staff & student reps on drug & alcohol awareness.”
A boycott of Durham bars, organised by students, titled #durhamnightin is due to take place on October 26th. As a result a number of bars including Jimmy Allens and Fabios have pledged to improve safety measures.