Undercover Thames Valley Police will target Windsor bars as spiking cases skyrocket

Thames Valley Police officers will be going undercover in bars, pubs and clubs to protect vulnerable women.

The move comes following a sharp increase in spiking cases.

Reports of clubbers, mainly young females, being spiked on a night out, either by injection from a needle or through drink, have been making the national headlines in recent weeks and now officers have revealed they will be taking action to help prevent cases in Windsor.

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At a virtual communities overview and scrutiny meeting, head of communities David Scott updated panel members on the community safety partnership, which is made up of representatives from police, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council, fire and rescue who work together to prevent crime and protect the local community.

Councillor Catherine Del Campo (Lib Dem: Furze Platt) asked what the council is doing to tackle the “sinister” act of spiking at the meeting on Tuesday, November 9.

Mr Scott said Thames Valley Police has developed an initiative known as Project Vigilant following a successful pilot in Oxford and will be rolling out in Windsor.

It was launched in 2019 and it uses a combination of uniformed and undercover police officers to carry out patrols in clubs and bars to identify people displaying signs of predatory behaviour, such as sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.

The officers then intervene and act, including making arrests, in order to prevent further sexual offences.

Mr Scott said: “There are strong links with our community CCTV network and the work that the team do from the control room.

“On the first night of the operation, they were directly responsible for an arrest of an individual before they were actually able to commit an offence on an individual that evening but they were identified from their behaviour they were out with that intention.”

As part of the community safety partnership, it was heard the borough will be ensuring the right education and ‘work streams’ are in place to reduce the number of violent and sexual offences against women and girls.

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