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Teens' idea to prevent drink-spiking

PUBLISHED: 08:30 06 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

Former Norwich City keeper Bryan Gunn joins Lucy and Amber Press and Holly and Georgina Gilbert at the launch of Spikeys.

Former Norwich City keeper Bryan Gunn joins Lucy and Amber Press and Holly and Georgina Gilbert at the launch of Spikeys.

RICHARD BALLS

Four teenage girls from Norfolk have come up with an idea to prevent drinks from being spiked with either drugs or alcohol.

EastEnders, Hollyoaks and other TV dramas have highlighted the dangers of drink-spiking, and former Hear'Say singer Myleen Klass has talked publicly about how she had a drink laced with the date rape drug Rohypnol.

Now four teenage girls from Norfolk have come up with an idea to prevent drinks from being spiked with either drugs or alcohol.

The small plastic devices - called spikeys, which can be placed inside the neck of a bottle allowing only a straw to be fitted, and freeflow caps that can be placed over it - will be distributed at special drink-spiking awareness events in the Lava and Ignite clubs in Norwich on Thursday which will be advertised through Vibe FM.

The promotional nights are the culmination of months of hard work by sister partnerships Holly and Georgina Gilbert, who are 17 and 13 and attend Taverham High School, near Norwich, and Amber and Lucy Press, 15 and 13, who go to Broadland High School at Hoveton.

They will also join the team on the SOS Bus the following night, giving out the devices to youngsters as they move on from pubs and bars to the nightclubs.

All members of the Open Youth Forum, they secured funding for the project and have set up their own website to encourage youngsters to beware of drink spiking.

At a press conference at the Open Youth Venue yesterday, police officers praised the girls for their project, during which they worked in tandem with Norfolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Norfolk Constabulary.

Holly and Amber were previously winners in another Norfolk Partners Against Crime Taskforce (Pact) project after they, along with two other girls, created a scheme in which unwanted documents could be shredded in order to crack down on identify theft.

Holly said they had seen the issue of drink spiking featured in a storyline in Hollyoaks and that she had a friend who had had their drink tampered with.

Simon Taylor, deputy chief constable of Norfolk police, said a sexual assault in King's Lynn was currently under investigation in which drink spiking may have played a part and welcomed the initiative. "It is very hard to quantify how common it is because the testing kit is unreliable, so this is really about prevention," he said.


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