At least eleven reports of women being spiked by injection in London bars and clubs over the past six weeks are currently being investigated by the police.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that it had received at least “eleven reports of needle spiking linked to licensed premises” in the capital since October 11.
No arrests have been made.
City Hall and Met detectives have called on anyone who thinks they may have been a victim or witness to an incident of spiking to come forward following a rise in cases.
Speaking about her experience to the Evening Standard, one woman who believes she was spiked in a bar in Sutton on November 6 said she was “completely gone in a minute”.
She continued: “The end of the night came, I could barely walk let alone talk.
“I woke up in the morning, couldn’t feel my left leg and it was rock hard and had what looked like a [needle] hole. I called 111 and was taken into hospital.”
The woman said that she was told by doctors that it was likely she was injected with benzodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs often used as sedatives due to their ability to lower brain activity.
The Met’s revelation comes as the Labour party called for a review into the prevalence of spiking and how cases are being handled by the justice system.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, MP for Lewisham West and Penge Ellie Reeves said: “Chilling reports of women being spiked by injection are just the latest example of the epidemic of violence that has left women and girls feeling unsafe.”
The Government confirmed it was rolling out several pilot initiatives to help protect the safety of women at venues, including the creation of a £5 million safety of women at night fund and a £25 million safer streets fund.
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The rise in needle spikings in London follows a nationwide trend which has seen a rise in reports of suspected spikings by injection from victims on nights out.
In response to the increased number of attacks, nightclubs in London have begun to take action, such as in the case of XOYO in Islington which has started offering urine and drinks tests that can be accessed by clubgoers through an onsite medic.
Additionally, more than 600 London venues, including venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses, have signed up to the Mayor’s women’s night safety charter to work together to improve safety.
City Hall’s night czar Amy Lamé said: “We want women, girls and everyone in London to be safe and to feel safe, whatever time of day or night.
“We are working closely with the police and partners to make London’s night-time venues a no-go-zone for perpetrators and those attempting to harm.”
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