Venue staff are to be offered specialist training to help combat the rise in drink spiking in the city.

Campaign group Stamp Out Spiking has teamed up with Brighton-based security firm Pagoda to launch a new two-hour course.

Venues which complete the training will receive official accreditation.

It comes after an investigation by The Argus revealed that more than 100 spiking incidents were reported to police across the county in a 10-month period last year.

The move to increase training for venue staff is backed by local businessman Andy Cheesman, who runs City Cabs.

“There has been a lot of spiking in the city recently and something clearly needs to be done,” said Mr Cheesman, who is offering to promote the course in his cabs. “If I can do anything to help then I will.”

“Spiking” refers to when someone is given alcohol or drugs without their knowledge, usually in a drink.

A freedom of information request submitted by The Argus to Sussex Police last year revealed that 108 incidents were recorded between January 1 to October 31, 2021.



Between January 1, 2016, and October 31, 2021, a total of 473 incidents involving spiking were recorded.

The training packages being put together by Stamp Out Spiking and Pagoda are designed to increase an individual’s awareness of spiking.

Its aim is to help staff understand the possible motives, common substances used, and the potential effects of these substances, so they can be aware and act accordingly when dealing with victims and perpetrators of drink spiking. 

Research has shown that a person may be spiked for the intent of stealing from the victim, assaulting them sexually or physically or as an attempted joke.

Of the 108 offences committed in Sussex between January and October 2021, 61 of the crimes were committed in Brighton and Hove and 90 of the victims from across the county were female.

Stuart Aldred, security contracts manager for Pagoda Security, which provides close protection officers, door supervisors and security personnel across the South, is to be Stamp Out Spiking Ambassador for Brighton and Hove. 

While the training courses are aimed primarily at venue management, they are open to bar and security staff, doctors, paramedics or anyone who might have to deal first-hand with cases of drink spiking.