Update on needle spiking incidents in bars and clubs
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Officers from Warwickshire Police have echoed comments made by West Midlands Police last weekend about recent reports of needle spike assaults in bars and clubs.
Warwickshire Police is currently investigating 11 reports of such incidents in recent weeks with concerns raised that drugs have been administered to people. Of these cases officers have yet to find any evidence that drugs were administered.
The force has recently taken delivery of rapid testing kits and where these have been used following a suspected needle spiking the results have been negative.
After speaking with scientists, officers from West Midlands Police were in a position to reassure people that the body’s natural response to pain that comes from a needle being pressed into the skin causes most people to react very quickly to being injected and move away from the pain. This reflex response combined with the time needed to press the syringe plunger, means the opportunity to inject the significant amount of drug needed to have an effect is limited, but not impossible.
Detective Inspector Martyn Kendall from Warwickshire Police CID is leading the force’s response to spiking. He said: “While people can be reassured that we’ve found no evidence of drugs being administered by needle stick in Warwickshire clubs and bars there could still be an issue with people using them or other sharp objects to scare people. I’m not sure what their motive is, maybe they think it’s a prank; to be clear, this is assault and we will investigate it as such.
“Stabbing people with a needle can be dangerous even if nothing is injected. Anything breaking the skin can expose people to the risk of serious infections.
“We are working closely with staff at bars and clubs to tackle this issue and issues around drink spiking – where alcohol or a drug are added to someone’s drink. We are committed to helping keep people safe on a night out and the more people are looking out for suspicious behaviour and the signs that someone has been spiked the more difficult it is for criminals to operate.”
The effects of drink spiking vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Your symptoms could include:
Loss of balance
How to help a friend who you think has been spiked:
Tell a bar manager, bouncer or member of staff
Stay with them and keep talking to them
Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates
Don’t let them go home on their own
Don’t let them leave with someone you don’t know or trust
Don’t let them drink more alcohol - this could lead to more serious problems
If you are concerned about someone acting suspiciously then tell a member of bar staff immediately.