Rise in drink spiking in Reading pubs and clubs prompts extra safety measures to keep women safe

Reading Borough Council has reported a rise in drink spiking incidents. Credit: ITV Meridian

A rise in drink spiking has prompted Reading Borough Council to make the safety of women at night one of its top priorities.

When granting licenses, the council will ask bars, pubs and nightclubs to include measures to protect women and girls from incidents including drink spiking and coercive control.

The council's new licensing policy will also include training sessions for staff, and look at recruiting street pastors and licensed door supervisors to patrol Reading in the evening.

  • Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Community Safety

Karen Rowland, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Community Safety, said: “Reading boasts a vibrant, lively night-time economy which people come from many miles around to enjoy.

"But we all have a responsibility to every single woman or girl to ensure we do everything possible to make our town a safe place in which to enjoy a night out.

“That is a joint responsibility shared among the Council and its partners, including the late-night bars, restaurants and entertainment venues that make-up our vibrant and attractive scene.

New Council Licensing Policy makes women's safety at night a key consideration. Credit: Reading Borough Council

"The Council’s new updated Licensing Policy further reiterates those standards that we expect from businesses and new applicants going forward in this area, with the introduction of a specific section on vulnerability and violence against women and girls.  

“The rise in instances of spiked drinks or welfare calls to police is by no means unique to Reading.

"But by putting in place new policies locally and working with partners we can make a difference to the night-time operation of our premised businesses and look to reverse that increase in Reading.”

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