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Anti-spiking

Sheffield Hallam Students' Union will not tolerate any kind of behaviours which puts other students at risk. All students should feel safe, whether in a nightclub or in their halls of residence. We are working with our partners throughout the city, including the University of Sheffield SU, local venues, the Council and campaign groups to make sure that all stakeholders take action to make sure that students are as safe as possible.

We will be regularly updating this page with updates on our activity regarding spiking.

The Students' Union Student Rights and Campaigns team held an open student meeting on the 9th November, to gather student views on how we can work to tackle the issue of spiking.

You said:

  • You wanted us to pressure the Council, University and key stakeholders on a number of issues, including better trained staff, free drink covers, stricter standards for venues outsourcing security and stricter nightclub licenses.
  • You wanted us to look into working with the University and Council to put out an awareness campaign targeting spikers about the consequences of their actions, as well as a campaign around how to look after students who have been spiked.
  • You wanted us to link in with accommodation and halls of residence to promote Report and Support and the services available to students.
  • You wanted student consultation and feedback into University services which support survivors and victims of all forms of assault and spiking.

What we are doing:

  • A meeting of the Night Time Economy group will take place in January and we will be looking into presenting your key feedback there. This meeting will include the police, the Council and representatives from venues and nightclubs.
  • We are working with Report and Support at SHU to create a specific category for spiking, where it can be reported anonymously.
  • We will be launching a student consultation into what kind of support students need from Report and Support, as well as their awareness and understanding of sexual harassment and violence.
  • We will lobby the University and accommodation providers to get information about Report and Support and spiking into where students are living, so all students knows where to access support.
  • We have ordered drink spike covers for bottles - please come to the Students' Union to collect these. Ideally, let us know if you would like some so we can order enough to meet demand.

Updates

25 March 2022

It’s been a busy time at the Students’ Union since our last update on 9th February, with lots going on behind the scenes to further the progress that’s been made in recent months. We’ve been continuing to work extensively with the Anti-Spiking Partnership, which brings together both Universities and Students’ Unions with Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Police to deliver a coordinated approach to tackling the issue of spiking.

Posters and Digital Assets

In our last update, we discussed that the Partnership was developing a series of posters and digital assets to be used in a city-wide campaign, and we're pleased to say that these are in the final stage of development and circulation will soon begin. We recognise that spiking happens not only in bars and clubs, but also in halls of residence and private student accommodation. These digital assets specifically target perpetrators and are designed to be placed in these environments as well as public areas. Keep an eye out for these posters around your student accommodation and on digital screens across the city in coming weeks. Would you like to see the posters in your accommodation? Let us know your address - email studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

 

If you have experienced an incident of spiking in your accommodation, we understand this could impact your feelings of safety. This could have a serious impact on your wellbeing and ultimately your ability to attend your course. Any incidents of spiking can be reported to SHU's Report and Support online tool. They have specially trained Advisers who can support all your next steps, including the impact on your course.

Anti-Spiking products

Over the course of the past month, Sheffield BID have distributed packs of drinks toppers and spikies to many of the city’s bars and clubs. This includes 33 premises in the city centre and 28 outside the city centre, with each venue receiving 600 drinks toppers and 220 spikies, totalling over 50,000 products distributed. This is a mammoth achievement and a huge step in ensuring venues are better equipped to protect students across the city.

 

Earlier this week, the Sheffield Star reported on this accomplishment.

Ask for Angela

The Ask for Angela scheme, which has been in operation in Sheffield since 2017, has now been redeveloped with a number of changes. The scheme is being relaunched under the banner 'Sheffield Against Sexual Harassment' (SASH), as due to the issues arising over the past year, it is now necessary to incorporate wider messaging and awareness around drink spiking and sexual harassment, into both training and delivery. Free training sessions began on 24th March, and will continue into the Summer, with venues being expected to write an Ask for Angela policy before official posters are provided. This is a huge change, and means that venues will need to have attended training before displaying posters promoting the scheme.

 

If you would like to be a part of our anti-spiking campaign, get in touch - we would really appreciate your involvement!

9 February 2022

It's been a busy time here at your Union in the last few weeks, including Welcome 2.0. As always, we are still dedicating our time to the important collaborative work within our spiking campaign.

 

Over the last few weeks, we have been working with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council on our spiking information poster campaign. Here at the Union, we are aware that spiking incidents don’t just occur when you're out at pubs and clubs - they also happen at house parties. The poster campaign is now being edited so that our information can be displayed in accommodation spaces. Would you like to see the posters in your accommodation? Let us know your address - email studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

 

If you have experienced an incident of spiking in your accommodation, we understand this could impact your feelings of safety. This could have a serious impact on your wellbeing and ultimately your ability to attend your course. Any incidents of spiking can be reported to SHU's Report and Support online tool. They have specially trained Advisers who can support all your next steps, including the impact on your course.

 

The police have informed us that official reports of spiking have greatly decreased in the past few weeks. Is this your experience? Are you able to report incidents at the time of the event? Let us know.

 

Sheffield City Council is taking this situation very seriously and are rolling out training to support venue staff. We will update you on this once it is launched. If you have questions or concerns (or praise!) for your favourite venue, send them to studentrights@shu.ac.uk and we can take these to our meetings. We are eager to receive any feedback you have about your night-time experiences – do you feel safe? What would you like to see when you are out?

 

If you would like to be a part of our anti-spiking campaign, get in touch – we would really appreciate your involvement!

25 January 2022

Alongside the work that your Union is involved in, the government are also working on the spiking issue across the UK. The Home Affairs Committee are running an inquiry into how violence against women and girls is being addressed. As part of this, they are looking into incidents of spiking. Whilst the overall project is about women and girls, the spiking investigation acknowledges that all gender identities can be impacted by these incidents.

 

If you have been involved in a spiking incident, you can complete the committee's survey online: Home Affairs Committee: What can be done to prevent spiking and better support victims? The deadline is 31st January.

I am tired of filling out surveys, why should I bother?

It is so important that the Home Affairs Committee hears from victims of spiking, from all demographics. It is essential that our students' voices are heard as your experiences are unique. Here at the Union, we understand that students are vulnerable to spiking. You have the opportunity to let the committee know, in your own words, the impact of your experiences.

I would rather speak to you at the Union…

We would welcome this. Staff at the Union are in contact with Hallam Nation, the university, Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Police. We need your comments to share with these organisations to help them understand the impact on you. You can get in touch with our team online or by emailing studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

I think I have been spiked and would like some help

Please contact Report and Support at SHU for some specialised support or The Police. If you are worried about this, you can contact the Advice Centre at your SU for support on how to take these steps.

18 January 2022

Our Officer Team continue to work hard on this issue. They have met again with Sheffield City Council to discuss potential accreditations which may help bars work towards and formalise the measures that we know will support our students. Our Officers were able to highlight the student experience within these meetings and have clearly outlined that work needs to begin now. The Council agree with us and are going to continue to work with the SU on this. We can share our plans with you once they have been formalised.

 

Our Student Rights Manager is due to meet with Sheffield Police to hear about a project they are working on which focuses on West Street at night. We are keen to be involved with this and want to hear about your experiences in bars, restaurants, venues and the street itself at night. Get in touch with the Student Rights Team on studentrights@shu.ac.uk to share your thoughts and stories.

 

Have you noticed any anti-spiking measures in your favourite venues? Let us know about these and if they make you feel safe - you can send us any pictures and videos of things you have seen. We also want to know what isn't working for you. Send all your information to studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

 

If you have been affected by spiking please contact the university at https://reportandsupport.shu.ac.uk/.

11 January 2022

  • Your SU Officers have recently re-met with Hallamnation, to review their practices to take action on spiking. In particular, they have received their buddy scheme and specific quiet areas have been implemented. Any student who believes they or a friend has been spiked should approach a member of staff, who should match them with a staff member who has been trained to deal with incidents of spiking.
  • Your Wellbeing, Sport and Physical Activity Officer Scarlet Parr will be meeting with Sheffield City Council to discuss how we can improve accreditation of venues.

4 January 2022

Heading into the new year, we will continue to work with the Council, University of Sheffield and venues to push forward our campaign, with a meeting booked in to discuss next steps. We will also be looking at getting our posters out into as many venues as possible - look out for them!

 

 

All students deserve to feel safe and supported throughout their time at university, whether that is on campus, in your accommodation or out in the community. We are continuing to work with our partners around the city to ensure student safety is the absolute priority. You can read more about this on our anti-spiking campaigns page. Student input and involvement is vital to us, so please get in touch with the Student Rights and Campaigns team if you'd like to get involved with campaigning on this issue - or any other issue which affects students.

21 December 2021

All students deserve to feel safe over the festive period and we recognise that this time of year many people will be out socialising in venues or in accommodation, whether in Sheffield or at home for Christmas.

 

Your Students' Union will be closed from the 23rd December to 4th January, but that doesn't mean that support isn't available. If you believe yourself or a friend has been spiked, it is important that you remember the following steps:

What should I do if I think my friend has been spiked?

  1. Stay with them and keep talking to them.
  2. Inform a member of the venue staff. You can also call 999 for the police to attend if you have just left the venue or if you are in halls of accommodation or a private residence.
  3. Call 999 for an ambulance if their condition deteriorates.
  4. Don't let them go home on their own or let them leave with someone you don't trust.
  5. Let them know about their options for receiving support, such as Report and Support at Sheffield Hallam. You can also call the police on 101 after the incident or report it online.

Your Students' Union has been working in partnership with Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union to create anti-spiking posters for venues around Sheffield. One poster informs of the next steps if you believe someone has been spiked and another is aimed at perpetrators, outlining the consequences.

 

The following venues have so far agreed to display these posters. We will also be working to get these posters and adequate anti-spiking measures in as many venues as possible. See anywhere missing from this list? Email us at studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

 

Name of Venue

Address

Bagshawe Arms

Norton Avenue

Bloo 88

182 West Street

Crookes Social Club

Mulehouse Road

Crystal Bar & House of Hugo

23-32 Carver Street

Ecclesall Ale Club

429 Ecclesall Road

Forum Sheffield

127-129 Devonshire Street

Frog & Parrot

94 Division Street

Genting Casino

St Pauls Place

Hallamshire House

49-51 Commonside

Handsworth Inn

343 Handsworth Road

Indie Go Bar

Unit 4, The Yard

Jabbarwocky

308-310 London Road

Maida Vale Sheffield

88 West Street

Millowners Arms

Kelham Island Museum

Octagon - University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Onyx Night Club

Rockingham Street

Perch

44 Garden Street

Sheffield Students Union

University of Sheffield

Sports Shack

12 Holme Lane

The Catch

Steelyard

The Common Room

1st floor, 127-129 Devonshire Street

The Francis Newton

Clarkehouse Road

The Greystones

Greystones Road

The Leadmill

6 Leadmill Road

The Ship Inn

312 Shalesmoor

The Wagon & Horses

2 Market Place

Tiger Works

136 West Street

Tropicana

16 Carver Street

West Street Live

128-130 West Street

Wick at Both Ends

West Street

Yellow Arch Studios

30-36 Burton Road

14 December 2021

Your Officer team have met with the owners of Crystal, the home of Hallamnation, to discuss the recent spiking occurrences. We have agreed that they will immediately put in place the following measures:

 

  • Foil toppers and spikies are to be made available to all customers and will be actively handed out by bar staff.
  • Members of staff have been trained to look after any customer who believes they have been spiked, making sure they are escorted to a quiet and safe place.
  • The number of staff, including security, on the door and in the venue will be increased.
  • Zero-tolerance posters, aimed at the perpetrators of spiking, will be put up around the venue.

We will be in close contact with Crystal around measures are in place, but any feedback from students would be helpful.

What venues would you like us to work with to implement similar measures? Email us at studentrights@shu.ac.uk.

30 November 2021

  • Your Officer team are feeding in student concerns and feedback at every opportunity and are continuing to regularly meet with our partners throughout Sheffield, in order to ensure a joined-up approach.
  • Our Officers will be meeting with Crystal next week to share your concerns, examine their current safety policies and look at how safety can be improved in the club.
  • Ou Officers are speaking regularly with South Yorkshire's Police Commissioner to look at South Yorkshire Police's response to spiking and harassment, as well as continuing to regularly meet with Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield - who is supporting a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment and Spiking campaign for venues.
  • On 6th December, the Students' Union is assisting in holding a workshop with key representatives and communications/marketing staff from the Council, South Yorkshire Police, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union, in order to decide on a communications and information plan around spiking in Sheffield.

If you want to share your voice, please let us know by emailing studentrights@shu.ac.uk. We also want to know your opinions on how we combat spiking, so please fill in this short form.

Organisers and contact details

Student Rights and Campaigns team

studentrights@shu.ac.uk

How to get involved

  • What are your views on spiking and how we can prevent it? Want to run a campaign on this? Get in touch with the Student Rights and Campaigns team.

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