AUTHORITIES have issued an urgent warning as cases of drink spikes at nightclubs rise.
Cases of nasty predators targeting vulnerable women in bars and clubs have risen, leading to companies being urged to take preventive measures.
It comes after a string of high-profile cases in recent months.
Friends Sophie Ashley and Charlotte Johnston were hospitalized in a “serious” condition after suspected spiking in October.
Meanwhile, teenagers Elle Vickers, 18, and Ellen Baldwin, 18, were rushed to hospital after “passing out” and waking up covered in scratches and bruises.
Elle reported a stab wound to her thigh and believed the couple had been spiked with an unknown drug.
She said: “We both passed out and have no memories for most of the night.
“I was alone for the rest of the night with no recollection of what could have happened to me during that time. I woke up to find myself covered in bruises and scratches on the inside of my thighs and feeling the worst I’ve ever felt.
“I called 911 for advice on what to do. I was told that 111 would call me back if someone was available.
“When I made the call I was in a cold sweat, couldn’t hold my own head up, my throat was closed making it difficult to breathe, and my legs and mouth were covered with cuts and bruises.”
Staffordshire Police alone have seen a steep increase to 99 spiking reports in the last 12 months, compared with just 33 the year before.
It comes as the Home Office has launched a consultation to update licensing laws to further crack down on drink and needle spiking.
Newcastle Borough Council, which is responding to the consultation, warned: “Reporting of spiking appears to have increased in frequency over the past 18 months.
“It would be appropriate for each applicant and license holder to consider what steps they can take to protect their customers from spiking.”
A spokesman for Fiction, the club where both girl groups were allegedly spiked, said: “Everyone should feel safe on a night out and they should feel safe at our club. Although incidents of spiking are incredibly rare, we take all reports of alcohol spiking very seriously.
“Our teams are extensively trained in this topic and are supported by our medical professionals on site. We operate our ‘We Care’ policy and support the ‘Ask for Angela’ program. We have anti-spike devices available and work 100 percent searches upon entry.
“We have extensive video surveillance throughout the venue and our security teams are wearing body cams. We will pass footage to the police to help with their investigation. Anyone suspected of spiking will be arrested and handed over to the police.”
They also encouraged anyone who suspects spiking or witnesses suspicious behavior to ask an employee for help and contact the police.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7221992/urgent-warning-drink-spiking-nightclub-predators/ Urgent warning as drink-spiking soars with women targeted at nightclubs by evil predators