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London Evening Standard - 2021-11-25

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Met probe 11 spike cases at bars and clubs

News

Rachael Burford

AT LEAST 11 reports of spiking by injection in London bars and clubs in the past six weeks are being investigated by the Met, the Standard can reveal. Detectives and City Hall today encouraged anyone who thinks they have been a victim or witness to spiking to come forward after the rise in cases. One woman, who believes she was spiked in a bar in Sutton on November 6, described being “completely gone in a minute”. She said: “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.” She said doctors told her she was likely to have been injected with benzodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs that lowers brain activity and are often used as sedatives. The Met told the Standard it has had at least “11 reports of needle spiking linked to licensed premises” in London since October 11. No arrests have been made. It follows a wave of reports of suspected needle spiking attacks in the UK from victims on nights out, including University of Nottingham student Sarah Buckle, 19. In response, nightclubs in London are taking action, including XOYO in Islington which has begun offering urine and drinks testing. Clubgoers can access the tests through an onsite medic. Pryzm is enforcing new measures including extra staff training, more thorough searches and having a qualified first-aider on site. City Hall said more than 600 London venues have signed the Mayor’s women’s night safety charter, which involves venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses working together to improve safety. 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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