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Date rape drug campaign launched

PUBLISHED: 05:32 27 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

A CAMPAIGN designed to stamp out the dangers of date rape druggings in nightspots has been launched in Essex.

Members of Essex's Pub and Club Watch gathered at Route nightclub in Colchester to launch the venture which hopes to raises awareness of the risk of leaving drinks unattended in bars and clubs.

A CAMPAIGN designed to stamp out the dangers of date rape druggings in nightspots has been launched in Essex.

Members of Essex's Pub and Club Watch gathered at Route nightclub in Colchester to launch the venture which hopes to raises awareness of the risk of leaving drinks unattended in bars and clubs.

Two Essex schoolboys have designed "Spike", a green hedgehog figure, which is distributed to all the clubs and bars within the group and staff then attach it to the rim of customers' glasses.

The 'Spikes' remind drinkers "Don't give Spike the chance! Look after your drink".

Route club owner Edward Bar, said: "There have been allegations of drink spiking at Route, which is partly the reason why we are going as far as this.

"It's difficult with a young and trendy bar to keep bad elements out. It is important that we keep doing things to contribute to trying to get rid of it. I think 'Spike' is a very good idea. I've spoken to various customers about the launch of the campaign and it has been warmly welcomed, particularly by females, who are the main target of these attacks."

In particular, the campaign wants to raise awareness of the drugs Rohypnol and GHB, a form of liquid ecstasy. Both drugs are colourless and tasteless when dissolved, which makes it very difficult to detect if a drink has been spiked.

Rapists favour them because the side effects of both include short-term memory loss, which makes it very difficult for victims to press charges. Victims are often left with only hazy memories of the assault.

Michael Aitchison , chief licensing officer for Essex, said: "This is primarily a public demonstration to promote drink spiking awareness, which has been organised by Essex Pub and Club Watch."

Stuart Attenborrow, owner of Henley's Nightclub in the town, added: "I think 'Spike' is a great idea and we will be implementing it at the club. I previously advised staff at Henley's to keep a watchful eye out for such things."


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