A city centre bar has tightened their body and bag search protocol to protect customers amid reports of increased cases of spiking across the country.

The news comes as a national police chief yesterday warned "a number of police forces" across the country are investigation cases of spiking via injection.

A message was posted on Instagram by Baa Bar on Fleet Street in Liverpool on Saturday saying the move was part of "a duty of care to protect our guests."

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The post read: "Due to an increase in spiking across the city centre we are increasing our body/bag searches on entry.

"We have a duty of care to protect our guests.

"No search = no entry."

A representative for the bar in the Ropewalks area of Liverpool said the decision was made after "becoming aware of [spiking incidents] from other bars."

Jay Wilkinson, general manager of Baa Bar said: "We were made aware of [an increase in spiking incidents] from social media posts about other bars and decided to up our searches to help prevent it from happening here.

"No customers have asked us to increase searches but they have thanked us on the night for making an effort.

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"We hoped us posting about upping searches would prompt other bars and clubs to follow suit.

"I believe they have now."

The move follows reports in The Mirror of a 19-year-old Nottingham student waking up "confused with no memory of the night [before] after allegedly being pricked with a needle on a night out.

Sarah Crew, the National Police Chiefs' Council spokeswoman for rape and adult sexual offences said yesterday that she had become aware that morning that "a number of police forces" are investigating spiking via injection, reports The Mirror.

A petition calling for thorough searches of guests on entry to nightclubs to become a legal requirement has gained over 130,000 signatures.

Merseyside Police did not confirm to the ECHO whether reports of spiking had increased in the city, but said an operation has been in place since April to identify "predatory behaviour."

Liverpool city centre local policing Inspector Charlotte Irlam said: "We are proud that Liverpool remains one of the safest cities in the UK to enjoy a night out and is awarded Purple Flag status every year but that does not mean that we rest on our laurels.

“We want to ensure women can enjoy a night out safely and without fear.

"Our proactive policing response, Operation Empower, has been running since April.

"Dedicated officers are tasked with identifying potential perpetrators who are displaying signs of predatory behaviour and to disrupt those who present a potential risk.

"Officers are also asked to be aware of anyone who may be vulnerable to ensure any immediate safeguarding concerns are met.

“Everyone wants to have a good night out with friends and family but we also want to make sure that everyone gets home safely.

“We would advise friends to stay together as a group and watch out for each other; never leave drinks unattended – even if you only nip away to go to the toilet or for a cigarette break and don’t accept drinks from strangers.”

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