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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Devices reduce drink spiking risk
Bottle with 'Spikey' fitted
The device reduces the risk of drinks being spiked
Thousands of plastic bottle-stoppers are being distributed on Tyneside to help women protect themselves from potential sex attacks.

Staff at Newcastle's The Gate complex, in partnership with Northumbria Police, are handing out the Spikeys - devices used to prevent drink spiking.

Safety packs are available at all the bars and restaurants in the Gate.

The aim is to reduce vulnerability from substances such as Rohypnol - the so-called "date rape" drug.

Police are also urging people to think about, and plan their night out, from knowing what they will be drinking to arranging the right transport home.

Jude Leitch, marketing manager at The Gate, said: "We want all visitors to have an enjoyable time and feel safe here.

"Incidents such as these are extremely rare in The Gate, but we still felt it was important to let people know that this can occur anywhere in the city."

Supt Graham Davis from Northumbria Police said: "Our message is straightforward, and safety is all about being sensible and taking a few, simple precautions.

"Also remember it is not just alcohol that can be spiked, it can happen to soft drinks and even tea or coffee."

He stressed that Newcastle city centre is a very safe place to visit, and that the vast majority of people have an enjoyable time without incident.


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