In pictures: York clubs during the girls night in boycott
96 per cent of York students said they were boycotting clubs on Wednesday
On Wednesday 27th October a boycott of all York bars and clubs named “York Girls Night In” was held in order to raise awareness of the increasing reports of drink spiking in York and across the country.
@Yorkbignightin was set up by York students “to get clubs in York to take notice of this issue and take action beyond what they are doing currently in a way that ensures safety and security for all.”
According to a poll on The York Tab Instagram, 96 per cent of York students said they were taking part in the boycott. Students instead outlined their plans to “have a meal with friends”, “quiz night with the flat and lots of chocolate” or a “movie screening with college netball”.
With the majority of York students standing in solidarity with the boycott, here’s what York clubs and bars looked like on Wednesday.
As shown by these photos, the majority of York students supported the boycott. The York Tab spoke to one student outside one prominent club who refused to enter. She said: “I’m not going out because I think it’s disgusting that people are getting spiked.”
Another student added: “Clubs need to check people even if it takes longer so that everyone is safe.”
However, Ellis, a first year at York, said he didn’t support the boycott because: “I don’t support modern methods of protest as an effective political way of getting what you want into law. Boycotts, in my view, are just a way for people to think they have control over what society and other actors do.
He continued: “It’s a horrible thing that’s happening but nowadays people want to feel like they can control the narrative by being part of some large crows shouting some slogan loudly.”
The Tab also spoke to a member of door staff who said: “On the boycotting of clubs I completely agree with it. But on dedicated student nights where we strive to ensure that students only are in the venues and we do bag searches and as many thorough checks as possible we’ve had no reports of increased spikings in York.
“I do think they’ve taken it to an extreme where one of the clubs has opened at 10pm and closed at half-past. It cuts the industry and does make you wonder whether it’s worth opening next week and the week after.”
He continued: “From being at work already tonight at a food venue and seeing students coming out and drinking the exact same amount they would in the night clubs in a bar, and going to pubs instead of night clubs, it’s just going to shift. If it was going to happen in a night club it’s now going to happen in a pub and they don’t have the same security we do.”
Other pictures taken at 10:45pm showed inside clubs with dance floors abandoned and tables empty, no students to be found. The venues were completely empty.
A spokesperson for Flares said: “The safety of our guests and our team, has always been, and remains our number one priority and we continually review our safety and security procedures to ensure our customers and staff remain safe. We treat all allegations of spiking seriously and ask customers to bring this to our attention immediately should they have concerns their drinks have been tampered with.
They continued: “We are aware there is increasing concern over alleged increases in spiking in clubs and bars, and have therefore enhanced our measures and employed Guest Support to assist any guests that are feeling vulnerable or unwell. These team members are easily identifiable, as they wear a neon armband. We have enhanced security checks on our door, and we ask guests to remain vigilant and report any unusual or suspicious behaviour to one of our team immediately.”
A spokesperson for Kuda said: “Everyone should feel safe on a night out, and they should feel safe in our club. We are the most regulated part of the hospitality sector; we work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment so that all our guests can enjoy a fun night out and will do everything we can to protect this right.
“While these incidents are rare, we take all reports of drink spiking very seriously. Our teams are fully trained on the issue and have the support of our onsite medics, we operate our ‘We Care’ policy and support the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme. We are offering anti-spiking devices to all of our guests and operate 100% searches on entry, which also includes ID scanners and metal detector arches. We have extensive CCTV coverage throughout the venue and our security teams wear bodycams and we will pass on footage to the Police to help with any investigation. Anyone who is suspected of spiking will be detained and handed over to the Police.
They continued: “We would encourage anyone who sees suspicious behaviour, or suspects they have been a victim of spiking, to seek immediate assistance from a member of staff or security, who are trained to help and who also have the support of our onsite first aiders. We would also encourage them to contact Police and seek medical advice, so that any allegation can be properly investigated.”