Hospitality chiefs are calling on venues to roll out a safe word scheme to tackle a surge in spiking cases.

Cops have opened a probe into a number of alleged attacks at bars and clubs related to drugging.

Women have reported that they have been targeted in Stirling, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow in recent weeks.

Some have said they were spiked using injections and woke up with red marks on their back following nights out.

A rising number of people have been left fearing that their drinks have been spiked

An umbrella group who represent venues have said pubs and clubs should train staff to use the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme for those who feel they may have been spiked.

It sees punters use the code word ‘Angela’ to alert staff they feel vulnerable.

Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group also called for police to record the incidents specifically to show how widespread it is.

He said: “We need to know how big an issue this is. It doesn’t happen all the time but even one time, is one time too many. We have to work with everyone on this to tackle it.

“The Ask Angela scheme would be great to use and I’d call on it to be rolled out to deal with this problem.”

Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group.
Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group.

The scheme was originally developed by Lincolnshire County Council before being adopted nationally. It came in response to the growth in internet dating.

Montgomery added: “It’s primarily been used in situations like where a woman feels like a man is coming on to them too strong.

“By going up to the bar and saying, ‘Is Angela there?’, it alerts staff that she feels vulnerable and they need to step in.

“It’s used by a lot of venues but not them all. And we’d like to see it extended to include people who fear they have been spiked.

“If anyone is in any doubt at all they can go to the bar and ask for Angela. Bar staff and bouncers are there to help.

“I would push for it to be used across all big pubs and clubs. It will involve more training but would not be a massive burden on the hospitality trade.”

Tony has said not enough support has been given

The Ask for Angela campaign was adopted by the National Pubwatch in 2016 and drew worldwide attention and support from the likes of the US and Australia.

Businessman Tony Cochrane, who owns nightclubs and adult venues across the country, said: “It is a good scheme and one my venues already use.

“We also offer customers spiking test kits, enclosed drinking vessels and a drink replacement scheme for full piece of mind.”