The following steps may help prevent someone from spiking your drink:
- Never leave your drink unattended;
- Never accept a drink from anyone you don't know or trust;
- Keep an eye on your friends' drinks;
- Consider sticking to bottled drinks and holding your thumb over the opening between sips;
- Keep your drink in your hand instead of on a surface;
- Don't share or exchange drinks;
- Don’t drink leftover drinks. “No minesweeping”;
- It's important to remember that if you've already been drinking, it may make you less aware of any danger;
- Before going out, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be home;
- Make plans for your journey home with friends & don't leave without each other;
- If you need to get a Taxi home, call a reputable company, and if you don't have the money on you, then use our safe taxi scheme. You can call Dragon on 029 2033 3333, quoting "Safe taxi scheme, your student number and name".
Cardiff Students' Union Safety Initatives
Cardiff Students’ Union has been working with local partners for many years to deliver other initiatives that will help to safeguard your personal safety at night. These initiatives are available for any Cardiff University student to use:
We have partnered with South Wales Police to deliver the Cardiff Safety Bus. The bus patrols the city centre every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night and will provide help to anyone who needs it.
Private Medical Staff
During each club night event, we pay for private medically trained staff, with a minimum of at least two trained paramedics, to be in our venues to support with any medical issues that occur.
Safe Taxi Scheme
No matter where students are in Cardiff, you can get home safely with just your student card thanks to our Safe Taxi Scheme. We work in partnership with Dragon Taxis to help students get home safely without any cash. Find more information about the scheme here.
Drink Spiking Testing Kits
We take the personal safety of our attendees very seriously. If you believe you have been spiked in our venues, please report to a staff member who will alert the onsite paramedic for assistance. We have invested in drink testing kits to give you immediate testing options at our venues and would encourage any student who is concerned about themselves or a friend at our events to speak to a staff member to access one of these.
Please do not be hesitant of taking a spiking test kit in the Union, no action will be taken as a result of a positive test for drugs taken knowingly. Medical staff are employed for your safety.
Spikey Bottles are also available free of charge at all Cardiff SU bars for those wanting added drink protection. We have ordered drink covers for larger glasses.
Some other clubs may offer “Spikey” anti-spike drinks stoppers. These are small plastic stoppers that fit into the top of a standard-sized bottle and have an aperture only large enough for a straw. Once a straw is inserted, it becomes very difficult to add anything to the drink, and so they reduce the risk of being spiked. These products are single-use and only protect drinks served in bottles.
You should still be cautious if using these devices. Be very wary, for example, if accepting drinks from strangers, as the drink could be spiked before you put your stopper in.
We employ a large security team to ensure the safety of attendees at events. This includes several dedicated positions in observational roles to watch for, and act on, inappropriate behaviour.
Searches on Entry
We conduct random searches as a condition of entry. For occasional events, sniffer dogs are utilised to support the identification of illegal substances. We have a zero-tolerance approach to possession of drugs in our venues, those caught can face a lifetime ban to all events (club nights, gigs and external events) and we may report to the police.
Extensive CCTV and Body Cameras
We have invested heavily in a CCTV system that has over 300 cameras in operation across our venues. On top of this, many of our security staff will be wearing body cameras to support gaining footage of incidents where required to aide police investigations.
Staff Training Programme
We’re developing our staff training programme to include information about how to handle inappropriate behaviours and to spot signs of drink tampering.
These initiatives are regularly reviewed to understand effectiveness and we welcome any feedback or improvement suggestions by emailing SUCustomerServices@cardiff.ac.uk.
Please see the NHS pages for more information about drink spiking, the symptoms of drink spiking, what to do if your drink has been spiked and how to prevent your drink being spiked.
How we Keep You Safe in Our Venues
Y Plas night club is one of the largest Students’ Union clubs in the UK. Each week, on average 8,000 students attend the popular club nights – we are proud that these events are a core part of the Cardiff student experience for a large proportion of the student body.
Supporting students to have fun in a safe manner will always be a fundamental part of how we organise and deliver events. As a not-for-profit venue, we invest heavily in safety initiatives which we have outlined below. In return, we require our attendees to help keep themselves and others in the club safe by playing their part to keep the student community safe and ensuring at all times, their behaviours in the club are in line with our code of practice.
Whilst serious incidents in our clubs are minimal, we are aware that damaging and, on occasion, harmful activity can still occur. We take all reports of inappropriate, harmful and unlawful behaviours incredibly seriously and want to encourage any student who experiences these types of behaviours to report it. Our staff and security team are on hand during events to handle complaints, if you do not feel comfortable reporting at the time, please see the Reporting and Accessing Support section below.
We also ask you and your peers to be vigilant of our Student Behaviour Expectations if you are entering our venues.
Student Advice is a free, confidential and independent service available for students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.
If your being spiked impacts your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can, amongst other things:
- advise you on how to report Extenuating Circumstances to the University;
- advise you on how to submit and Academic Appeal if you have missed the Extenuating Circumstances deadline, or you circumstances have been refused;
- advise you on how to take an Interruption of Study and what you need to think about when deciding what to do;
- signpost you to other support services.
Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410