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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

MP Nadia Whittome calls for urgent measures to be put into place to support women after suspected spiked needle attacks in Notts

Nottinghamshire Police confirmed they are now investigating 12 allegations of people being spiked with a needle in city nightclubs.

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Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome has called for urgent measures to be put into place to help support victims after local police confirmed they are now investigating 12 allegations of people being spiked with a needle in city nightclubs.

The MP said she was waiting to hear from Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and also the Home Secretary after writing to them and sharing her concerns following a rise in spiking reports across Notts.

Spiking injections, also known as needle spiking, take place when an unsuspecting person is injected with drugs using a needle.

Victims of needle spiking have reported discovering a painful pinprick on their body after blacking out.

Sarah Buckle, a second-year student in Nottingham, fears she was spiked while on a night out in the city recently.

She told Sky News she spent 10 hours in hospital after becoming severely sick and woke up to a bruise on her hand.

She said: “I woke up and realised my hand was developing a bruise and it had a mark in it,” she said.

“The nurses told me ‘it seems as if you’ve been spiked possibly by a needle’. I immediately just thought about HIV, hepatitis, that’s gone straight into my body.

“I just felt physically sick that it was in my system.”

Nottinghamshire Police have now reassured the local community that any reports of spiking are being robustly investigated and taken seriously.

They revealed they have received 44 spiking reports dating from 4 September 4, 2021, with 12 of these have alleged spiking by something sharp as opposed to a traditional method of contaminated alcoholic drinks.

The first of these 12 were reported on October 2, 2021.

They said the figures have increased throughout October with the largest number of reports being made last weekend (October 15).

So far reported offences have taken place on different days at different venues and are not believed to be targeted to one specific city venue.

Following the reports, MP Nadia Whittome, who is MP for parts of Mapperley, now wants police and the Home Secretary to do more to protect women.

She told BBC Newsnight: “I’ve written to the police and crime commissioner in Nottinghamshire, asking for an urgent update on investigations.

“I’ve written to the Home Secretary asking her to work with me on a national strategy on this and I’ve organised a meeting in Nottingham of local stakeholders, women who have been affected and the student unions as well so we can draw together a list of demands to take to police, nightclubs and the Home Secretary because it’s really important that women who have been impacted by this have a say in what the solutions are.

Newsnight host Emily Maitlis asked the Nottingham East MP what she thought the solution should be.

Whittome replied: “From the early conversations I’ve had and the some of the things that might help is quick access to collection of evidence so there can be a quick and thorough police investigation.

“We need more training for staff like bouncers and bar staff and also proper support for women afterwards because if you’ve experienced sexual violence after being spiked then you will be able to access sexual violence support services, but if you don’t and if you are certain you haven’t been [sexually assaulted] then there is very little support available.”

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