A rising number of people have raised fears that their drinks have been spiked on nights out in Stirling.
People who believe they have been drugged, as well as those with safety concerns following a number of local reports of spiking, have contacted the city’s MSP.
Evelyn Tweed has written to Forth Valley’s divisional commander asking him to take action to “address anxieties”.
It comes as police confirmed they are investigating reports that a woman had her drink spiked in Tingle bar in the city centre on Saturday, October 16.
A friend of the woman posted on social media: “My friend has just been spiked in Tingle (Stirling) went to speak to police about it who told us to put her in a taxi home – love to see that women have to fend for themselves.”
In response, Tingle took to Instagram to say they “are aware of recent media reports of spiking incidents in bars and clubs around Scotland”.
They added: “Guest safety will always be paramount to us and we would like to reassure everyone that our front and back of house areas are fully covered with CCTV and we employ toilet attendants to oversee the parts we cannot monitor.
“We also operate each night with double the recommended SIA accredited stewards and a random search policy to ensure everyone’s safety.”
They added: “In a situation like this we would always encourage you to contact the relevant authorities if you have any concerns. Contrary to recent social media discussions, we have not received any official complaints of this nature.
“We stand ready and willing to help in any way we can.”
Police responded to say: “We would encourage anyone with any concerns around this, or anyone who believes they may have been a victim of drink spiking, to report it to police. All reports will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”
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But Stirling SNP MSP Evelyn Tweed believes this is not an isolated incident after speaking to a number of concerned local people.
She told the Observer: “My office has received pressing concerns from constituents, regarding nightlife safety and spiking incidents in recent weeks.
“I have raised these concerns directly with Police Scotland and have requested further information on the actions they are taking to address these anxieties in Stirling.
“Everyone deserves to enjoy themselves in a safe manner, and businesses have a responsibility for the wellbeing and security of their customers.”
In a letter to Forth Valley police divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Alan Gibson, she said: “I am writing to you to seek swift assistance following a number of reports of drink spiking at a venue in Stirling city centre from concerned constituents on social media.
“Can you advise if reports of drink spiking in Stirling have been raised with Police Scotland and if so, what action is being taken to address this matter.
“It appears from initial reports on social media that this may not be a localised issue within my constituency but an issue across Scotland.
“As such, can you advise on any measures Police Scotland can take to raise awareness of this issue?
“I would also ask what guidance is provided for venues, their customers and the general public on what action should be taken if a suspected drink spiking takes place.
“As you will be aware, Stirling has a lively night-time economy on most nights of the week, not just at weekends, and I am keen to ensure that people, particularly young women, are able to enjoy this without fear and in the full knowledge that Police Scotland will support them in the even of an incident unfortunately occurring.”
A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed they will respond to the letter.
Bannockburn ward Alba councillor Maureen Bennison, who sits on the council’s licensing board, said: “Stirling’s licensed premises should be safe places for anyone who chooses to use them, and these reports are therefore concerning and of the utmost seriousness.
“The behaviour being described here is despicable and will not be tolerated.
“I’ve asked for this matter to be discussed urgently by the licensing board and the police, as I want assurances that all necessary action is being taken to ensure the safety of our licensed premises, especially those where young people gather as in this case.”
If you believe you have been spiked or have any information call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.