One in seven young women report being spiked as attacks become an ‘epidemic’

The survey of 750 women aged 16-25 by the Alcohol Education Trust found 92 per cent of victims did not tell the police – and of the ones who told police, half said nothing happened

One in seven young women have reported being spiked

Spiking of drinks has become an “epidemic”, with one in seven young women reporting having been targeted.

The survey of 750 16-25s by the Alcohol Education Trust found 92% of victims did not tell the police. Of those who did, half said nothing happened as a result.

AET head Helena Conibear called for bars and clubs to search people at the door and to have testing kits available on site.

Ms Conibear added: “Our poll revealed 35% of drinks were spiked at private parties, 28% in nightclubs, 13% in bars and 7% at festivals. This can happen to anyone, anywhere and to any drink.

The survey of 750 women aged 16-25s found 92% of victims did not tell the police


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“It really is an epidemic.”

She said most spiking cases did not lead to assault or robbery.

Demanding action, students plan a clubs boycott on Wednesday. Police report 140 cases of drink spiking in September/October, and 24 of injection. Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked the police to assess the problem.

Two men have been detained in Nottingham and one in Lincoln by police investigating spiking attacks.

The two men in Nottingham – aged 18 and 19 – were detained on Friday morning on ‘suspicion of conspiracy to administer poison with intent to injure, annoy or aggrieve’.

The arrests were made after officers studied CCTV footage working closely with venues in the city, police said.

Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These two arrests come after a plea from myself and the force for people to come forward and report any incidents to us.

Of the women who did report to police – half say nothing happened


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“We have now arrested two men this morning (Friday) on suspicion of conspiracy to administer poison and both are still in custody as our enquiries continue.

“I would like to reiterate that these arrests have not been made in connection with a specific case or incident reported to us over the last few weeks of both drink spiking and spiking by a needle.”

But Nottinghamshire Police did confirm they had received three new reports in the last 24 hours of being “spiked with a needle” – taking the total of such incidents under investigation to 15.

The NHS website provides some guidelines on what to do if your skin has been punctured with a used needle.

They advise to ‘wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap’, ‘dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing’ and to not scrub the wound or suck any blood.

Nottingham Police’s websites has some guidance on what to do if your drink has been spiked, but they currently do not have any guidelines on being injected.

They advise to: “Tell the people you’re with and make sure you’re someone where you feel safe.

“Alert a member of staff at the pub or club you are at. If you feel unwell you should seek medical attention immediately and tell them that you believe your drink has been spiked.”

They said a number of the victims reported being spiked by some sort of injection and have reported effects “consistent with a substance being administered”.

University of Nottingham student, Sarah Buckle, has told how she woke up in hospital with no memory of how she got there and throbbing pain in her hand.

The 19-year-old later discovered she had been possibly spiked with a needle to the back of her hand while at a nightclub.

Fourteen women and one man have reported to police they believe they had been spiked with a sharp object in the region.

Earlier this week Nottinghamshire police arrested a 20-year-old man who has been released on bail as enquiries continue into spiking by needle continue.

The force said they would be deploying more officers into Nottingham city centre, with a police dog operation planned for Saturday night and plain-clothes officers on duty.

Lincolnshire Police said a 35-year-old man was detained “on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to administer them” at about 3am on Friday.

The arrest came after what the force called “swift and proactive work in partnership from the staff at a Lincoln nightclub”, although they did not name the venue.

The suspected offence “doesn’t involve a needle”, police said.

Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner Marc Jones said: “We cannot accept people being unsafe when they go out with friends for a drink.

“This arrest should send a huge signal to those would-be criminals who look to prey on our community in this despicable way.”

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were investigating reports of a woman being attacked with a needle in Fever & Boutique in Exeter on Saturday, October 16th.

The spate of reported incidents prompted Home Secretary Priti Patel to ask police forces to assess the scale of the problem.

A petition launched last week to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search people on entry has now gained more than 160,000 signatures.

Police have said there have been around 140 confirmed reports across September and October of drink spiking and 24 reports of some form of injection.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said: “There are both male and female victims, though the majority have been young women. Alleged offences have taken place at licensed premises and private parties.”

He added: “Clearly these reports are very concerning. We are working at pace with forces, law enforcement agencies such as the NCA and other partners including the Home Office and universities to understand the scale of offending, establish any links between the allegations and ultimately bring any identified offenders to justice.

“Ahead of the weekend, and looking further to the Halloween weekend, please be assured that forces are working closer than ever before with pubs and clubs to help tackle the issue and encouraging premises to increase searches at entry points to the venues. Police are also working with venues to make sure all staff are alert to the issue and to advise them of what to do if they see signs of spiking.

“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking, in any form, to contact their local police force. Any reports of spiking will be investigated and taken seriously.”

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