[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 06:45 GMT
Ad campaign urges drinks caution
Ad trailer
Ad trailers and posters will be displayed across the country
Christmas revellers are being urged to be on their guard against having their drinks spiked by date rape drugs.

The Scottish Executive has launched a nationwide campaign urging people not to let their drinks out of their sight when they are socialising.

The scheme was unveiled just days after it emerged that one in 12 nightclub drinks were found to have traces of the drug Rohypnol.

And in two of Edinburgh and Glasgow's night-spots it rose to one in six.

'Time for enjoyment'

The effects of Rohypnol can include dizziness and loss of memory.

Police chiefs, the licensed trade and security staff have joined forces to back the executive campaign.

Deputy Health Minister Hugh Henry said: "The festive season should be a time for enjoyment.

"But sadly, a sick minority of people see other people's enjoyment as an opportunity for crime - and there are few more cynical crimes than spiking someone's drink to make a sexual assault easier.

"Dealing with this problem means raising awareness and stopping incidents happening in the first place."

A fleet of scooters will target streets with popular bars and clubs across the country warning people to remain vigilant.

Cases increasing

Massive 18ft towers featuring an advertisement asking "Who's Keeping An Eye On Your Drink?" will also be placed in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Other places due to be targeted include Stirling, Falkirk, Dundee, Inverness, Dumfries, Kilmarnock and Ayr.

The campaign will last for three weeks over Christmas and New Year, but Mr Henry said the executive will continue to drive the message home in the months ahead.

Campaigners claim the use of drugs such as Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine in date rape cases is on the increase.

All the drugs used are tasteless and odourless so they are difficult to detect in drinks.

According to Central Scotland Rape Crisis Centre, 34 out of 294 female rape victims claimed they were drugged in 2001.

That climbed to 41 out of 315 last year - 13% of all victims.

Date rape awareness drive
14 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Date rape Christmas warning
11 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Man 'trapped' by DNA evidence
26 Nov 03  |  Tyne/Wear
Date rape drug hotspot warning
13 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Concern over spiked drinks
12 Nov 03  |  Cumbria

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific