Bedfordshire Police is stepping up patrols ahead of Christmas

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Bedfordshire Police will be carrying out extra patrols in and around licensed premises to make sure that everybody enjoys the festive period safely.

During these patrols the team will be using cocaine swabs in club toilets to check for the presence of cocaine and target anyone who is acting in aggressive manner.

Additionally they will be handing out Spikeys – brightly coloured plastic stoppers used as a preventative measure against drinks being spiked with drugs. Once inserted into a bottle, they cannot be easily removed and leave just a small space to insert a straw.

The force advises that if someone behaves out of character or seems out of it, don’t just assume they are drunk. They may well have been spiked.

If you believe that your, or a friend’s drink might have been tampered with, alert a staff member and seek medical attention immediately.

Licensing sergeant Craig Gurr, who will lead the night-time economy policing operation over Christmas, said: “Our priority is to protect those who are vulnerable, and to identify and bring to justice anyone who seeks to harm others.

“We want to remind people that it is never acceptable to behave in a violent or anti-social way, or to take advantage of those who may be incapacitated by drugs or alcohol – who, remember, are not able to give their consent to sexual activity.

“Party-goers can use the Spikey for peace of mind when keeping their drinks safe, but the focus for us is on the perpetrators who should know that we will be present and deal robustly with anyone breaking the law.

“If you are planning to have a fun night out with friends or colleagues at the office party, please always look out for yourself and each other. Remember that actions have consequences – you don’t want to risk spending your night in a cell.”

If you believe that you or someone you know might be in danger do not hesitate to call the police and use 999 to report an emergency.