Bar implements new measures following alleged spiking by injection

Nice N Sleazy, in Glasgow, has unveiled a number of new measures to help improve safety.

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A bar where a woman was allegedly spiked by injection has vowed to carry out random body searches.

Cops launched an investigation into the alleged spiking at Nice N Sleazy, on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, last Thursday.

Club bosses said they are implementing precautionary measures ahead of the weekend, including body searches, bag searches and ensuring no drinks are left unattended.

It comes amid reports of young women being injected during nights out in cities across the UK – including Nottingham, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Victims say they have been pierced with a needle in their leg, hands and back and woke up to no recollection of the night.

They are left with a pinprick mark surrounded by a giant bruise with risks of shared or unclean needles being used, posing threats of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

A spokesperson for Nice N Sleazy said: “We are very concerned about the incident which came to light on social media this week.

“Unfortunately, the incident was not reported to our staff on the night and we were not able to offer support and help.

“We hope that anyone who might be a victim of these crimes in the future will communicate all concerns they have to our staff should anything occur inside or indeed outside our venue.

“We will give the best support we can to any individual in distress, but would also urge any victim subjected to attacks of this kind to report it immediately to the police for investigation.

“It is also crucial to report to NHS services as soon as possible so that they can be properly treated for substance effects and given blood screenings for any viruses.”

They continued: “We have updated signage throughout the premises in regards to spiking and the processes that should be followed if someone is thought to have been spiked.

“We have implemented random body searches to our entrance policy and continue to be vigilant with bag searches and ensuring no drinks are left unattended.

“We are in contact with multiple organisations over this issue including Police Scotland, the Night Time Industry Association (NTIA), the Scottish Music Industry Association and the Music Venue Trust as well as Good Night Out.”

The spokesperson added: “We have excellent CCTV cameras in operation throughout the premises and as such, Police Scotland and ourselves would urge anyone connected with said incident to step forward.

“We can use any information gained to aid in the investigation and catch the assailant.”

Owner of the Garage nightclub Donald MacLeod urged revellers to report a suspected spiking urgently to members of staff on nights out.

MacLeod, who is the convener for Glasgow’s Licensing Forum, said: “If you suspect that you or any of your friends have been spiked, we want to be the first people to know about it.

“The sooner we know something is going on, the sooner we can provide help and get these people off the streets – there is a maximum 10-year prison sentence for this offense.

“We take this very seriously – it is a real threat to our customers, our staff and our livelihoods.

“We want our venues to be as safe as they possibly can be for our nightclubbers. The only way we can tackle this is by standing together, reporting it and talking about it.

“The venue is there to help you. We want to catch these people who are doing this to our customers for whatever reason.”

Their pleas come as clubs across the city face a boycott after the spiking reports.

Students from Girls Night In Glasgow are leading the campaign – which urges revellers to snub major city bars for a night in or for a flat party on Thursday, October 28.

A spokesperson from the group said: “The violation of anyone’s body should strike a chord with everyone, which is why we are trying to make our movement as inclusive as possible.

“Drink spiking and rape culture must be addressed at a systematic level, by both clubs/organisers and government.

“We demand serious reforms and accountability for the unsafe environment that the ignorance and evil certain groups of people are causing.”

Police Scotland said the alleged incidents across Scotland do not appear to be linked.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who raised the matter in Scottish Parliament, said: “Reports of spiking incidents in Glasgow and elsewhere are deeply troubling.

“We know these wicked crimes are mostly perpetrated by men who feel entitled to harm and abuse women. It’s unacceptable and must be stamped out.”

A spokesperson for the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said: “In response to recent reports, operators across the UK have been working with the police, local authorities and key stakeholders, focusing on safeguarding customers – particularly women, at night.

“Many cities already have well-established networks among operators and community support representatives and work very closely with authorities, communicating on a regular basis to highlight increases in crime or disorder.

“The truth is though, very real challenges still exist.

“We know this a societal problem but it is very difficult to say with any real certainty what the scale of this problem is.

“Drink spiking is currently criminalised under an offense which encompasses many other types of incident and it is also not possible to ascertain whether an incident occurred within a licensed venue or in some other setting.

“The result is that police data revealed through Freedom of Information does not give an accurate picture of what’s happening, or lend itself to specifically categorising this particular crime.”

A spokesman for Rape Crisis Scotland said: “Reports of spiking by injection are obviously deeply concerning and are having a very real impact on how safe particularly women are feeling entering bars and clubs.

“We agree with all those calling for venues to do better and ensure that they are taking every possible measure to prevent abusive men from having access to their premises and being able to perpetuate harm, and in responding robustly to reports when this does happen.

“The extent to which women are simply expected to navigate the world with such an acute and credible fear of men’s violence is deeply unjust.

“This violence is not inevitable and it’s not something that we should accept as such. Women deserve to feel and be safe – venues have a responsibility to make this a reality.”

By Ellie Forbes and Ruth Suter, SWNS

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