Falmouth’s the fourth safest place…
According to The Telegraph, Falmouth’s the fourth safest place to go to university in the UK, as a result of Falmouth just having “80 crimes per 1,000 residents.” However, the crime of drink spiking amongst university students has risen. Head of Community & Welfare within the university, Catherine Thornhill, stated that “Both SARC which is the sexual assault and rape crisis centre in Truro and Devon and Cornwall police have seen a noticeable increase.”
Listen to the full interview with Catherine here:
What is spiking?
Spiking can be anything from putting intense drugs in your drink to buying you a double when you asked for a single.
Institutions aren’t to blame
Nevertheless, the issue of spiking “Is not down to the university it’s down to society.” Catherine thinks that “society as a whole needs to change, and it is little things that unions and universities can do to try to improve that.”
Spiked at the student bar
Both Emma Kirk & Phil Wade fell victims of drink spiking within the same night at an event in the student bar, as a result of them both sharing a drink that had been left unattended earlier in the night.
Emma Kirk describes the whole experience as worrying, as she had no idea what had happened. She’d only had one drink before hand, she said that; “I realized that I’ve been drunk before, but this time it wasn’t the same it wasn’t that, I had no memory of the night I only had two and a half drinks for the entire night, for a while it got me very wary.”
The whole ordeal for Emma turned out to by quite traumatic, as she woke up with cuts and bruises all over her body. She nervously stated that;”my left knee was swollen and I couldn’t walk for the next couple of days and that really worried me as I have no idea how it happened.”
Breaking gender stereotype
Phil Wade admitted he was shocked to be spiked as a male, as you “always hear about women getting spiked”. He expressed that;“I didn’t realise spiking was a massive thing…. I’ve never experienced it, as a twenty-one year old I’ve been out a fair few times, you hear about women being spiked more than guys but obviously because I shared a drink I got spiked.”
Similar to Emma, Phil also voiced; “I can’t remember how I got home and the rest of the night, I can’t tell you who I was with.”
Rising number of cases
Emma Kirk explains that she knows of a few friends that have also been victims of drink spiking at other events held at the student bar,“I know three other people who have been spiked, all of them were at Stannary events, one of my friends got spiked with MD, he remembers the whole thing, but he woke up with blood in his mouth, it was a horrible experience to wake up to in the morning.”
Police say there are more people like them but they can’t give the exact number of the increase.
Catherine Thornhill puts support in place
Catherine Thornhill stated that; “Falmouth University has lots of support available to students, who unfortunately may have found him or herself victim to drink spiking.” The FXU Loves You Campaign aims to raise awareness of personal health and safety concerns that affect many people. One of the topics covered within this campaign being alcohol and drugs.
For detailed information about how to recognise drink spiking and what to do if you or your friend becomes a victim of the crime head to: http://www.fxu.org.uk/resources/6013/drink-spiking-cards/