PUTTING A LID ON DRINK SPIKING

Putting a lid on drink spiking for Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre


RTW Together has joined with the Safe Town Partnership, Kent Police and local night time economy venues to fund an initiative to prevent drink spiking.


Stop Topps drink foils can be easily applied at the bar, by server or customer, providing a physical barrier against unwanted substances. The lid is pierced with a straw for access. The RTW Together Business Improvement District has funded a supply of the product to give away free to any town centre pub, bar, restaurant or club who would like them.


BID Director for RTW Together, Sarah-Jane Adams explains “Safety is at a relatively high level in Tunbridge Wells, but prevention is the best option when it comes to an unfortunate and unacceptable nationwide rise in incidents of drink spiking. We’re pleased to be supporting the Safe Town network in rolling these items out for free to our community of licensed premises in the town centre.”


One venue making the most of the offer is the Bedford, in the High Street, where customers can ask for a Stop Topp. Owner Steve is pleased to be onboard with this BID initiative: “Anything to make people feel safer is a good thing, we have cctv in this venue and projects such as these are a great idea to form a deterrent for this kind of unwanted behaviour.”


Kent Police Licensing Officer for RTW, Andy Forrester, was also on hand to promote the scheme, saying “As the Tunbridge Wells licensing officer I fully support anything that promotes safe drinking within the town’s venues. Working together with our partner agencies I hope these Stop Topps will give customers the confidence to enjoy their nights out safely.”


Roz Heaton, Business Crime Manager for the Safe Town Partnership, explains, “Tunbridge Wells is one of the safest places in the county to socialise, however, just like numerous other towns and cities across the country, allegations of spiking made by males and females to police have increased. Licensees take these allegations very seriously and staff at all major venues in the town have been trained on how to respond to help victims and to ensure that evidence is preserved in order to achieve the best possible chance of a prosecution. Additionally, the provision of StopTopps in venues, funded by RTW Together, has helped to provide customers with reassurance that their drink has remained unadulterated. As well as venues in the town, Tunbridge Wells Street Pastors, who patrol the night time economy at weekends, also have a supply for distribution.”

RTW Together is supporting its delivery of Stop Topps with the provision of free drink spiking awareness training for local venues, highlighting how to spot and prevent the act, and what to do in the event that a customer believes their drink has been tampered with.



Town centre businesses who would like a supply of Stop Topps, or to book free places for staff on our online training, are asked to contact sarah-jane@tunbridgewellstogether.co.uk