LOCAL authorities have pledged to crack down on spiking incidents in busy town centres and have reassured residents of the safety work they are conducting.

It comes after an increase in alleged incidents throughout the country, leading to many people highlighting the lack of safety measures currently in place.

Durham City Safety Group has received over £100,000 in Government cash for projects to protect people, mainly women and girls, out and about in Durham.

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Alan Patrickson, Durham County Council’s corporate director for neighbourhoods and climate change and chairman of the Durham City Safety Group, said: “We do take any reports of spiking extremely seriously and have visited several licensed premises alongside Durham Constabulary in recent weeks to raise awareness and offer advice to help everyone stay safe during a night out.

“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of drink spiking to report it to police and seek medical attention.”

Darlington Council said it is “committed to doing everything that we can to make our town a safe place for enjoyable nights out” including specialist training for bar staff in the town.

A spokeswoman added: “The Council is aware of the increase in spiking reports across the country and understand that some people may have concerns around their safety when out in Darlington.

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“We are committed to doing everything that we can to make our town a safe place for enjoyable nights out – which includes a multi-agency approach to preventing spiking and specialist training for licenced premises staff, as part of our SaferStreets initiatives.

"As the first town in the region to be awarded Purple Flag status, we are proud of our continued collaborative work with the night-time economy and the police to keep our communities safe.

“Spiking is a serious offence, which needs to be reported to the police as soon as possible. If you believe you or someone you know has been a victim of spiking, you must report it on 999 or 101 and seek medical attention immediately.”

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