A YOUNG woman who raised awareness of drink spiking amongst students has had her campaign back by Police Scotland.

Cara Teven, 21, was in the company of some of the force’s most senior officers as she unveiled her Girls Against Spiking initiative at Strathclyde University’s Student Union yesterday.

The law student, from Ayr, began the campaign when one of her own friends was spiked, and now she encourages bars and nightclubs to provide cups with lids in a bid to stop people being deliberately spiked on nights out.

Although the statistics of spiking are relatively low, it is feared that it is under reported. 
Cara said: “Everybody knows somebody who has been spiked.

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“It is one of those things where people are too scared to come forward and with it being mixed with alcohol there is connotations with the victim being reckless and embarrassed about it.

“Hopefully, the campaign will change that and make people come forward.”

Girls Against Spiking was launched in September soon after a Glasgow Caledonian University student jumped from her bedroom window after she was allegedly spiked. 

A post about Alix Taylor went viral on social media after she shared her story.

Cara said: “This campaign has raised a massive awareness. The main thing is, it can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter, that is why everybody should be concerned about it.”

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Strathclyde University Union in Glasgow was the first establishment to offer lids for all drinks served at their bars on a trial basis and now it is hoped with the backing of Police Scotland, there could be a national roll out. 

Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, lead for Crime and Protection, said: “We are supporting Girls Against Spiking to help raise awareness of drink spiking and encourage people to report these incidents.

“Drinks can be spiked using drugs or alcohol and there is not always a sexual purpose behind it.

“We are aware of incidents where people spike a friend’s drink on a night out because they think it’s funny. This can put that person at risk as you have no idea how a drug or excess alcohol will affect someone, their actions and their safety.

“Lids will help reduce the chance of your drink being spiked and we fully support the campaign to reduce the likelihood of drink spiking for men and women.

“We always encourage people not to leave their drink unattended or let a stranger buy you a drink without knowing what’s in it.

READ MORE: Strathclyde University union to offer lids to stop drink spiking

“We want people to be able to enjoy themselves and have a safe night out.”

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre, which works with partners including Police Scotland, is also supporting the campaign through its Best Bar None scheme. 

Licensed premises can apply to join the scheme where they are assessed and scored on issues such as prevention of crime and public safety.

A spokesman for Strathclyde University Union said: “We are delighted to be pioneering this new initiative and proud that the idea came from a Strathy student. The Union recently won three awards at the prestigious Best Bar None Awards, and the anti-spiking lids reinforce our message that we are a safe space for students.”

f you believe you have been a victim of drink spiking then please report it to a police officer, call 101 or contact your student union.