Increasing club security won’t stop the rise in spiking – it will only make us feel way less safe

‘I tried explaining to the bouncers I’d been spiked but they refused to believe me’

Over 2,600 young people believe they’ve been spiked since the start of this term. The solution? Increasing club security and allowing even more bouncers to abuse their power. I can totally support the boycott of clubs for girls but there’s no way I can ever support the idea of increasing security. It’s a dangerous and tone-deaf solution made by people who know nothing about the fear marginalised people have of stepping into a club in the current climate. Bouncers already know what’s happening, they’re already not doing anything to ease the situation or make us feel slightly safer when we’re out.

Bouncers already do the bare minimum to keep us safe, don’t give them more power

So far the advice and solutions have been shit. Just earlier this week Durham University offered its wisdom and sent out a tweet saying “Don’t get spiked”. But we all know it’s not that simple and we’re more than aware the victims are not the problem here. The problem comes from those who actively go out with the intention to spike someone. To actively inject, dose and put someone in serious danger. It’s fucked up. Having an extra couple of bouncers on the door will not ease this – it’ll give more power to the people who are doing the bare minimum already.

Earlier this week, a man was arrested after a woman reported being injected with a needle when on a night out in Nottingham. Women are terrified to go clubbing because we can’t trust anyone. Covering our drinks and watching them like hawks is one thing but what are we meant to do now there are people entering clubs with needles? Wear armour to protect our exposed body parts?? Drink spiking is dominant within clubbing culture and it’s starting to feel very personal.

Our safety has been compromised and increasing bouncer presence isn’t going to ease our anxiety because they are historically known for abusing their power. PhD student at Durham University, Katie, told The Tab about her experience going clubbing as a designated driver. Katie’s friend had run off at 2am and she had decided to go after them. Katie attempted to get back into the club to make sure her other mates got home safe but the bouncer refused Katie entry despite her being alone late at night. A few moments later Katie was the victim of an attempted mugging as a result of being left alone in the middle of the night.

‘I tried explaining to the bouncers I’d been spiked but they refused to believe me’

For a lot of us, our mates offer way more support than bouncers do. Brighton based uni student, Gwen, told The Tab about the time she was spiked and a bouncer straight up refused to believe her. She went out clubbing with her mates and was spiked, a man was walking her out of the club and she wasn’t even aware it was happening but thankfully one of her mates saw her and managed to stop the man from taking Gwen out. She says: “I then found myself in the side room with a bouncer and my friends, I was completely oblivious to anything that was happening and kept going in and out of consciousness.”

Gwen said she knew that she had been spiked as she hardly drank anything. She also described the feeling as extremely different from being drunk off alcohol. Gwen told The Tab: “During my conscious episodes I tried explaining to the bouncers that I’d been spiked but they refused to believe me and determined that I was merely drunk.” Then the bouncers refused to call Gwen an ambulance so her mates ended up taking her to the hospital where she found out that she had been spiked with GHD. Gwen described the whole experience as terrifying, but it makes her angry no one believed her even though something was clearly wrong.

When we approach bouncers for help, they just laugh at us

It happens way too often when bouncers fail to take us seriously. One of them straight up laughed at Alex, a Southampton student who was on a night out and witnessed something getting dropped into their drink. They told The Tab they saw something get put into their pitcher in the club and they went to speak to the man who did it but he ran away. Alex then told the bouncers what had happened but no action was taken.

Then in the same club a man put his hand up someone’s skirt and she went to tell the bouncer what had happened but the bouncer laughed in her face and said “What do you want me to do about it?” It’s disgusting that the people who are hired and paid to protect us are the ones refusing to believe us when we say we’re in danger. In what world is hiring more bouncers going to make clubbers feel safer? It’s a disastrous and violent solution that, in reality, won’t solve anything but will make everything ten times worse.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please head to Drinkaware for more information on drink spiking. You can call Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 or find help via their website. If you’ve got a story you’d like to share with us, get in touch in confidence by emailing

Related articles recommended by this writer:

Girls are reporting being spiked by injection – I’m terrified to go clubbing

Clubs are back – but so is drink spiking. Here are your stories

Man arrested after women report being ‘injected with needles’ in Nottingham

Feature image (before edits) courtesy of Long Truong on Unsplash.