Bradford University hopes to stop date-rape drugs

ON GUARD: Paul Gwynn and Nazmeen Akhtar with some of the devices which can prevent drinks being spiked

ON GUARD: Paul Gwynn and Nazmeen Akhtar with some of the devices which can prevent drinks being spiked

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A new group has been created at Bradford University to raise awareness about the dangers of date-rape drugs.

Yorkshire Date Rape Drug Prevention was created for a health fair at the university, but members plan to continue their work far beyond the fair, which took place in Student Central yesterday.

The group says it is important that students are more aware of drugs like GHB, Rohypnol and Ketamine, which can be slipped into drinks and lead to people being more susceptible to rape, assault or robbery.

The group began as a project by students on a health, wellbeing and social care module.

Many of the drugs are odourless and tasteless, meaning people often do not realise they have been drugged until it is too late.

Although women are most often seen as the victims of date rape drugs, 12 per cent of calls to police over druggings are by men.

Date rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK, and with many of Bradford’s bars and clubs near to the university, YDRDP say it is especially important that students know what not to do on a night out.

Student Paul Gwynn said: “As far as we know we are the first local group like this. It is about raising people’s awareness when they go out drinking. It is an issue people are aware of – door staff at bars are really good, but it is something drinkers need to know about.

“It has been interesting looking into this issue and now were hoping to take it to another level.”

During the day the group sold ‘topp stoppas’, plastic caps that can be used to prevent people slipping drugs into drinks in bars or clubs. The product was created by John Blundell of Dewsbury, who was also at the stall on Monday. He said that several national groups set up to raise awareness of date rape had folded because of a lack of funding in recent years, and so it was important for groups within universities and colleges to spread the message.

Mr Gwynn said: “The feedback we’ve got from students shows that people’s understanding and knowledge of date rape drugs and their dangers is quite limited. After today we will be meeting to look at where we can take this.”

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