Police force receives 12 spiking reports involving ‘something sharp’ this month

Nottinghamshire Police says first reported was made on 12 October

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 21 October 2021 11:42 BST
Women have reported fears they have been spiked with an injection
Women have reported fears they have been spiked with an injection (Getty Images)

A single police force has received 12 reports of spiking involving “something sharp” since the start of this month.

Women have spoken about fears they had been spiked with an injection on a night out, saying they had suffered memory loss and a pinprick mark on their body.

Nottinghamshire Police said it has received 44 spiking reports in total since early Septemeber.

It added: “12 of these have alleged spiking by something sharp as opposed to a traditional method of contaminated alcoholic drinks.”

Zara Owen, a student at the University of Nottingham, told The Independent it was “terrifying” to suspect she had been spiked with an injection.

Another student from the same university, Sarah Buckle, told ITV, she woke up after a night out during Freshers’ Week with no memory of how she ended up in hospital and a pain in her hand, where a pinprick mark was found.

Nottinghamshire Police said it first received a report of a spiking incident involving a sharp object on 2 October.

“A number of victims reporting being spiked by some sort of injection have reported effects consistent with a substance being administered,” the force said.

“In one case an injury has also been sustained which could be consistent with a needle.”

Elsewhere in the country, police said they were investigating “an incident where a woman has been assaulted with a needle” in a nightclub in Exeter last weekend. Devon and Cornwall Police said it was not aware of any similar incidents within its area.

West Midlands Police said it had received one report “where the circumstances appear to match the description of someone being spiked by injection”.

“However, it’s unclear exactly what’s happened and we’re in the process of trying to speak to the woman to gather more information,” the force added.

West Yorkshire Police said it had also received one report of “spiking by injection” involving an incident in Leeds city centre last week.

Police Scotland are also investigating “a small number of reports” from Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow areas.

Multiple forces - including in Humberside, Greater Manchester, Northumbria and Lancashire - told The Independent on Thursday they had not received any reports of spiking involving sharp objects to date.

While Essex Police told The Independent they were not aware of any recent incidents involving needles, but said the force was investigating 12 reports of drinks being spiked in Colchester over the last eight weeks.

A police organisation official said on Wednesday a “number” of forces were investigating reports of spikings done with injections, while universities said they were working with bars and police to ensure student safety.

Nightclub boycotts are planned across UK cities next week in a call for greater protections and tighter security to tackle spikings.

An organiser of the nightclub boycott in Nottingham said the reports of spiking with injections has “created a different level of fear for girls” in her city and across the UK.

Nottinghamshire Police said the number of spiking reports has “increased throughout October with the largest number of reports being made last weekend.

“Reported offences have taken place on different days at different venues and are not believed to be targeted to one specific city venue,” the force said.

“While the majority of reports being made to officers are from younger women, many of whom are students, there have also been reports of young men being potentially spiked too.”

Priti Patel, the home secretary, has asked police forces to urgently assess the scale of drink spiking at nightclubs and parties after some said they had seen more spiking incidents in recent months.

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