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.
Hallam students made this brilliant documentary on the spiking epidemic.
Check out the article Now Then Magazine produced around our campaign.
We're happy to report that we have seen low reports of spiking related incidents in the past few months! We're still working with other Universities, the Night time economy & city council to keep strong messaging around anti-spiking going and will continue to meet each month. We are looking to work with Drink Aware so we can provide some more drink spiking provisions such as drink toppers & test kits, but we would love to know if this is something students are still interested in!.
After our most recent meeting (membership of which is explained further down), we are currently working on a promotional campaign on where people can access support & resources around spiking. This involves both victim support & preventative measures such as drinks covers.
It has been brought up to us that a lot of local bars & clubs no longer provide drink covers and are not seen to be so actively engaging in anti-spiking work as they did last year. With this in mind we'll be researching into how we can get those provisions out to local bars & clubs for your usage and how we can work with the night time economy to provide further training for not just bar staff, but the security industry as well.
Staff within the Student Rights Team regularly meet with a group of representatives from across Sheffield who are responsible for different areas of the 'night-time economy'. Night-time economy refers to a wide range of activities, a trip to one of our local theatres, a meal with friends or family, to a night out at a club. Within the group are individuals from Sheffield City Council. As a licensing authority, Sheffield City Council plays an important role in regulating the night-time economy. Also attending are South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Drug and Alcohol/Domestic Abuse Coordination Team (DACT) and the Street Pastors. We are all in agreement that a clear vision for the night time, supported by agreed policies, can ensure night time social spaces are safe. We also believe that our partnership approach is the most effective way of facilitating this.
If you have information or want to share your experiences of the night-time economy in Sheffield, please contact us and together we can share your thoughts within this group. Here at the Student Rights Team, we're always on the hunt for students who feel inspired to create change - would you like to work with us on our spiking campaign? Would you like to help others affected by this issue? Would you like to pose your questions, and share your experiences of spiking with policy makers? Get in touch and our team and let's see what we can do together!
If you have been affected by the information above, you may wish to report your experiences to Report and Support or South Yorkshire Police.
You may have seen in the news that Department for Education and Home Office are launching a new working group focused on students and spiking. This is a very important moment for the anti-spiking campaigners across universities and here at your SU we are very keen to be involved within this group. It will be led by the University of Exeter’s Vice Chancellor. Would you like to work together with us on this? Get in touch!
South Yorkshire Police brought statistics to our latest meeting to say that spiking reports had greatly reduced in Sheffield in the last month. We are keen to know if this is your experience of your nights out - both in venues and house parties. What is your experience of reporting such issues, do you feel confident knowing the processes and how your situation will be handled? Get in touch with our team and give your feedback.
Currently, there is a huge initiative by the government called: Tackling violence against women and girls strategy. This means that there are more projects operating within the city which overlap with the work of the police and council to protect women. Members of our group explained that they had completed some really useful and accessible training on street harassment. It is free and has been created by Right To Be (previously Hollaback) and L'Oréal Paris: Learn what to do about street harassment. Please be aware the content of this training may be triggering for some.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have been affected by spiking please contact the university at https://reportandsupport.shu.ac.uk/.
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.
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:
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 email@example.com.
Name of Venue
182 West Street
Crookes Social Club
Crystal Bar & House of Hugo
23-32 Carver Street
Ecclesall Ale Club
429 Ecclesall Road
127-129 Devonshire Street
Frog & Parrot
94 Division Street
St Pauls Place
343 Handsworth Road
Indie Go Bar
Unit 4, The Yard
308-310 London Road
Maida Vale Sheffield
88 West Street
Kelham Island Museum
Octagon - University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield
Onyx Night Club
44 Garden Street
Sheffield Students Union
12 Holme Lane
The Common Room
1st floor, 127-129 Devonshire Street
The Francis Newton
6 Leadmill Road
The Ship Inn
The Wagon & Horses
2 Market Place
136 West Street
16 Carver Street
West Street Live
128-130 West Street
Wick at Both Ends
Yellow Arch Studios
30-36 Burton Road
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to share your voice, please let us know by emailing email@example.com. We also want to know your opinions on how we combat spiking, so please fill in this short form.
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.
Student Rights and Campaigns team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.