Fakenham venues remain vigilant amid rise in drink spiking

The Fakenham sign found on Norwich Street in the town.

Fakenham venues are being "extra vigilant" amid a rise in drink spiking across the UK - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Venues across Fakenham are on alert amid a rise in drink spiking across the UK. 

Pubs and bars in the market town have been "extra vigilant" in recent weeks to try and spot potential incidents, their owners say.

While they have not come across any cases, attention has shifted towards anticipating and preventing predatory behaviour. 

Alie Hannam, who owns The Crown in Market Place, said the safety of her customers was paramount.

"We have door supervisors on every Friday and Saturday night, and most of our customers are regulars that we know," she added.

"The ones we don’t know we keep an eye on, and we patrol the pub inside and out.

The new chef at The Crown at Fakenham, Seb Harris, front, with, from left, junior sous chef, Kaiya K

Alie Hannam (second from right) with staff outside The Crown in Fakenham - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

"By having door supervisors we have that extra presence. We don’t let anyone through the archway if they are drunk or high on drugs.

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"We keep our pub safe, we are always vigilant, and we always look after our customers. If a drink is left unattended on the table, we throw it away."

Across the road at The Red Lion Lounge, general manager Joanna Pizer-Inggs makes sure there is a controlled number of people in the venue so staff can keep an eye on everyone. 

Joanna Pizer-Inggs, general manager at The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham

Joanna Pizer-Inggs, general manager at The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham - Credit: The Red Lion Lounge

She said: “Our service is intimate so we are communicating with customers all the time.

"We keep eyes on the client so we only allow 'X' amount of people through the door, and we also have a camera on the bar. The mixologist keeps an eye on the area and we have a manager on the floor at all times.

“Being extra vigilant is the norm that comes with years of experience of looking after the welfare of our customers."

The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham is taking shape.

The Red Lion Lounge in Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Catherine Baker, owner of The Rampant Horse Inn, on Queen's Road, said the pub had always been conscious of spiking as a potential issue. 

She added: "People do ask me or a member of staff to watch their drink. It is something we have always been conscious of.

“It is just something over the years we have learnt to watch out for, keeping an eye on people in the pub.

“Unfortunately, you can never say it is never going to happen and it is something to be concerned about.”

Catherine Beane (centre) owner of The Rampant Horse Inn, with her two sons Ben & Riley.

Catherine Beane, owner of The Rampant Horse Inn, Fakenham, with her sons Ben and Riley - Credit: Catherine Beane