DRINKS covers have been deployed to venues throughout Colchester in a bid to make nightlife in the area safer for clubbers and bar-goers.

Colchester Council and Our Colchester have joined forces to launch the Summer of Safety campaign.

As part of the scheme nightclubs, bars and pubs have all been provided with free drinks covers called Spikeys to help customers feel at ease.

The covers go over the top of a glass and are used to help prevent spiking. 

The drinks covers and associated products have been purchased as part of wider projects being actioned by the Home Office and Essex's Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The Summer of Safety campaign was supported by Our Colchester and Stacey Banner of the Openroad SOS Bus.

Gazette: Protected - Women unpackaging their free drinks covers at a bar in ColchesterProtected - Women unpackaging their free drinks covers at a bar in Colchester (Image: Colchester City Council)

Vinnie, the Business Crime Liaison officer for the BID, said: "When talking to experts in women's safety, we are fundamentally aware that stereotypes, misogyny and presumptions can lead to misunderstandings and potential violence and abuse, which may impact the choices women make or don’t make when planning a night out.

"This also includes other potentially vulnerable people and communities who can take reassurances they are safe and free to be who they are."

Vinnie now hopes the drinks covers will go a long way to protecting people on nights out.

"Drinks covers are a choice of protection and are an extension of the projects and the training that has been provided by the BID," she added.

"Drinks covers should not be needed but sadly, we do need them.

"We protect ourselves daily so we do not come to harm or end up being a target for a criminal. This protects users from the harm of spiking.

"The methods of spiking vary and the reasons why people spike others is varied.

"Ultimately those who spike are doing so is to facilitate power over someone, which leads to some form of crime."

Due to the success and importance of the free drinks covers, another event with similar prosects will be running in winter, scheduled for the university students returning to the city. 

OurColchester will be highlighting the night-out safety practices and showcasing many great aspects of the City at Freshers Fair.