Over the last two months there have been multiple reports of assaults in nightclubs with needles. This is alongside increased reports of drink spiking.
In Nottingham, one woman woke up in bed the next day with no memory, another woman woke up in hospital both displaying needle stick injuries. Further reports of paralysis and the concern of waiting weeks for test results to confirm they have not been infected with HIV or other potential illnesses/diseases.
As of 23 October 2021, the NPCC had also collected 198 reports of drink spiking, in addition to the 56 reports of incidents involving a needle.
Report by fullfact.org have provided the following alleged assaults:
- Nottinghamshire Police have since said they are investigating 15 separate incidents, reported within less than a month, of young women and men being jabbed with “something sharp”.
- Two men, aged 18 and 19, have been arrested by Nottinghamshire Police on suspicion of conspiring to administer poison, but not in connection with any specific reports of spiking either via injection or drinks. They have since been released under investigation.
- Sussex Police is investigating seven reports of women being spiked via injection in Brighton and Eastbourne. Hampshire Constabulary has said it is investigating one report of a woman being spiked by injection at a nightclub in Portsmouth.
- Lancashire Constabulary has confirmed it is investigating after a woman reported being injected with an unknown substance in Preston. Norfolk Constabulary has said it has received six reports of people either being spiked or injected.
- Wales Online reports that four women in Swansea claimed to have been spiked by injection, though these have not been confirmed. South Wales Police has said it had received “a small number of reports from people” who believed they had been spiked via injection, and was investigating.
- The Scottish Sun also reported four stories of suspected spiking with a needle across Scotland, with cases in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Freedom of Information requests collected by Sky News and published in 2018 found that reported incidents of spiking had doubled in three years. The BBC reported in 2019 that there had been a rise in the number of cases, with 2,600 reported incidents in England and Wales since 2015.
The information can be found here : What do we know so far about reports of ‘spiking’ with needles? – Full Fact
There are calls for security to be bolstered at nightclubs with extra bag and pocket searches.
There have been nationwide conversations about the crime and inspired a boycott of nightclubs and bars dubbed ‘Girls Night In’ where nightclubs were boycotted on 11 October. But there was also criticism that women staying home was not the answer to this big problem.
With universities now back and bars full again, universities are running campaigns to raise awareness.
TikTok has been flooded with videos showing just how easy it is to spike a drink with a small distraction to the drink holder, again to raise awareness.
The question is whether spiking has increased dramatically recently, or whether this is now only once again hitting the headlines raising awareness.
Different companies have now come up with further safety measures for drink covers, such as a hair scrunchie that can be placed over the drink like a cap so you may put a straw through.
The difficulty with such spiking, is that if the impact is delayed to the victim or this is not caught on CCTV, catching the perpetrator may prove very difficult to police.
Of statistics obtained so far, it would seem this is impacting both male and female victims equally, despite the coverage forming this is a larger risk to females.