Guidance on night-time safety, spiking and how to get support
Freshers is an exciting time and Brighton is generally a fun and safe place to be, but being aware on a night out is really important.
Brighton Students’ Union
Brighton Student’s Union (BSU) are dedicated to the safety and welfare of students and have onsite presence at every Freshers event. BSU also only work with nightclubs during Freshers that have a range of safety measures in place, such as:
- Dedicated welfare zones
- Male and female security
- Ask Angela initiative
- Mandatory ID policy
Safe Space Brighton
Safe Space Brighton run a drop-in on St Paul’s Church, West Street on Friday and Saturday nights they support anyone who has become intoxicated, distressed, or injured during their night out.
People who access Safe Space have often become vulnerable through alcohol or drug use and need immediate assistance. For example, someone might need first aid, some water, or a phone charger, you can contact them on 07979104406 – find out more about Safe Space.
Safe Space Sussex app
The Safe Space Sussex app has been created to guide you to a nearby safe place if you feel unsafe in any way or have become detached from your friends. Local businesses, services and organisations have signed up to become a ‘Safe Space’. When someone arrives at the Safe Space, staff will be able to offer them somewhere to wait.
What to do if you think you have been spiked
Drinks can be spiked with drugs or alcohol. There have also been reports of spiking by injection. The effects can be unpredictable but are likely to be more serious if someone has also consumed alcohol, or other drugs. Vapes can also be used to spike people, recently there have been an increasing number of cases of where people have been targeted through sharing vapes. Make sure when on a night out that you do not use anyone else’s vape, except your own.
If you or a friend start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help straight away.
Alcohol education charity Drinkaware has some advice on what to do if you think a friend has been spiked:
- Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
- Stay with them and keep talking to them
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
- Don’t let them go home on their own
- Don’t let them leave with someone you don’t know or trust
- Don’t let them drink more alcohol – this could lead to more serious problems
What to do in the following days
Spiking is a serious crime. It is an even more serious offence if the person also has motives to commit further crime, after making someone vulnerable.
If you can, please report any suspected spiking incident to the venue and to the police. This is one way to ensure enough steps are being taken to keep people safe. If an incident occurred at a night that was promoted by the BSU, please also report it to them so that they can investigate.
You can disclose an incident that happened to you or to a friend, to us by completing our online disclosure form. You can make a disclosure with your name or anonymously. If you provide your details, the Disclosure team will get in touch to offer you appropriate wellbeing support.
Alternatively, you can speak to a trusted member of staff such as your Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT) or your Personal Academic Tutor. They can help you complete the online disclosure form or contact the Disclosure Response Team on your behalf, if that’s what you want.
You can also access our university counselling service, for a safe space to talk with a trained practitioner.
No one should experience being spiked and should be able to enjoy themselves on a night out without worrying about their safety. Sadly, recent reports show that it can happen in any situation, at home or on a night out. It is important that everyone is equipped with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and look out for their friends.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Never leave your drink unattended, whether it’s alcoholic or not
- Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
- Be aware of your personal limits when drinking
- Stick together with friends, and look out for each other
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your safety and wellbeing are always our top priorities.