Nightclub owner pledges to do battle against drink spiking
- Credit: The Metro
The owner of Dereham's clubbing hotspot has pledged a hard-fought battle to combat the rise in drink spiking.
Kurt Oliver, who has run The Metro for eight years, said his staff were doing everything in their power to spot and anticipate predatory behaviour.
The town centre venue is visited by hundreds of people every weekend.
And, while the Quebec Street nightclub has not necessarily seen a jump in spiking cases, Mr Oliver revealed bar and security staff were working round the clock to protect revellers.
"People think bouncers do nothing, but at all times they are looking out for suspicious behaviour," said the 44-year-old.
"You can normally tell when something is not right. People tend to come in as groups so you notice when they are on their own.
"The general observance, the regular toilet checks and the monitoring of drinks is all ongoing, as is our high search ratio on the door.
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"We aim for quite a high search rate of males and females coming in. The problem is that what we are trying to find is easily concealed where we cannot look."
The Metro's security team is fully-licensed and qualified, having been trained by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in drug and spiking awareness.
Refresher training was carried out as recently as two weeks ago.
The bar is also signed up to a national safety initiative which encourages those in a distressing situation to approach staff and 'Ask for Angela'.
Mr Oliver said the scheme had come in useful "two of three times" in the last few weeks.
While concerned over the surge in spiking attempts across the country, he added that an increasing willingness to report incidents to police was encouraging.
"I have been in the security and nightclub industry for 25 years and spiking has always been there, whether it is for perverse reasons, comedy reasons or whatever else," said Mr Oliver.
"If it is a case of it being reported more, that has got to be a good thing.
"Hopefully we are moving away from the whole 'it was her or his fault', which is something that really needs to happen. We don't advocate anybody having to change their behaviour."