A new Shropshire business has been launched, with the aim of identifying and addressing the issue of drink spiking among licensed premises in England, Scotland and Wales.

Not only is it an authorised distributor for CYD’s drink spike testing strips, but Shrewsbury based 1st & Bowery has also developed an innovative app for use by venues and their customers, to instantly and anonymously record incidences and preserve evidence of spiking.

The strip, developed and validated for the detection of GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and Ketamine (Special K) in the UK by University College London and Strathclyde University, has been tested against an extensive range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to check for false positives. Activated in just a few minutes, a drink containing GHB will turn the pink patch blue and containing Ketamine, the yellow patch orange.

“If a person is worried whether their drink has been tampered with, then simply using a test strip supplied by a member of staff, will help to allay any concerns”, said 1st & Bowery director, Vince Dovey. He continued: “We believe that venues offering test strips free of charge to their customers alongside our innovative reporting product, will be seen as leading the fight against drink spiking. Our app reports incidences through scanning QR codes on two separately designed posters: one for management and staff, and one for customers. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting anti-spiking measures may soon become mandatory at establishments, as a condition to them either applying for, or renewing a licence with local authorities. Adopting the scheme can only enhance a venue’s reputation.”

1st & Bowery is running a pilot scheme at Albert’s Shed in Shrewsbury and Telford, prior to a wider launch in early 2023. Albert’s Shed director, David Gregg, said: “While we already have strict measures in place regarding safety, adding 1st & Bowery’s test strips and reporting procedures will function as a further deterrent to the perpetrators and offer peace of mind to our customers. We take the potential scourge of drink spiking very seriously.”

For more information visit www.1standbowery.co.uk.

Picture: Vince Dovey, director, 1st & Bowery and David Gregg, director, Albert’s Shed.