DRINK protectors are being distributed across bars and nightclubs in Bolton as part of a new anti-spiking campaign.

Council chiefs, working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Best Bar None (BBN), have launched a fresh initiative, aimed at providing advice and materials to reduce the risk of spiking.

The protectors, known by the brand names StopTopps and Spikeys, will be sent to bars and clubs over the next few weeks.

They make it much more difficult to spike a drink by minimising the openings of bottles and glasses.

A StopTopp is a foil lid which can be stuck on to most glasses and then punctured with a straw. Meanwhile the Spikey goes in the neck of a bottle, with a hole for a straw in the centre.

The tops are available free of charge and can be requested at the bar when buying a drink, say council officials.

The campaign is part of ongoing work to promote a safe night out in Bolton.

Cllr Mudasir Dean, the borough's safer communities, cabinet member, said: “Drink spiking is a horrendous crime which not only affects victims physically, but it can also be detrimental to their mental health.

“Everyone has the right to feel and stay safe while socialising.

“Personal safety is one of our priorities and the preventative work we are doing with the night-time economy should make people feel safer on a night out.

“There are steps you can take when on a night out to help keep yourself and your friends safe.

“Don’t leave your drinks unattended and don’t accept drinks offered by people you don’t know or trust.

“We work closely with our bars, clubs and partners in Bolton to make the venues as safe as possible and many of them operate the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme.”

Dave Cottom, manager of The Swan, on Churchgate and chair of the BBN steering group said:

“We want the public to know that we have a zero tolerance for drink spiking and are all working really hard to ensure that spiking does not happen in Bolton.”