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Police officers are working hard behind the scenes to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe night out in Cheshire.
This weekend, there are plans for both uniform and plain-clothed officers to be out and about patrolling key areas of the county.
Officers will be on the lookout for anyone intent on causing trouble or harm and also providing advice and support to revellers to ensure they stay safe.
Chief Inspector Mike Ankers said: “Going on a night out should be an enjoyable experience and we are doing all we can to ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible in Cheshire.
“We are taking positive action to address issues such as spiking, which has been highlighted as an area of concern recently, and we continue to work closely alongside our partners in licensing and the local authority, sharing any information and concerns raised to us by the public.
“The policing presence that we will have in place will not only provide extra reassurance for those on a night out but it will also address any issues of bad behaviour and hold people to account if they are behaving in a way which is unacceptable.
“If anyone has any concerns, do not hesitate to approach one of our officers – we are here to help you.”
Spiking incidents are an issue of growing concern nationally – in Cheshire, over the past few weeks, there have been a small number of spiking incidents reported.
It is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to administer a substance to someone with an intent to overpower them for sexual activity, and this can result in 10 years imprisonment.
It is also an offence if you are caught putting alcohol or drugs into someone’s drink - even if the drink is not consumed or the person is not harmed.
The law also applies to reports nationally of injection spiking, which is classed as physical assault.
Chief Inspector Ankers added: “No-one should be a victim of spiking. Everyone should be able to enjoy a night out without having to worry about how others could potentially behave.
“We have had a small number of reports of spiking across the county. Each report is thoroughly investigated and every line of enquiry will be pursued.
“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of reporting a potential spiking as quickly as possible so that officers can carry out vital tests and gather the best evidence possible.
“This also helps us to build a picture of areas where this type of crime is taking place and to speak with licensing teams to address this. Most importantly it takes the perpetrators off our streets – they are not welcome in Cheshire.”
If anyone would like to make a report call 101, 999 in an emergency or visit the Cheshire Police website.
For further information and guidance about spiking, please visit the visit the Talk to Frank website.