POLICE have not yet found any evidence of drugs being administered in the 11 reported cases of needle spike assaults in bars and clubs currently under investigation in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire Police says that where rapid testing kits have been used following a suspected needle spiking, the results have been negative.
Officers from the force have echoed comments made by West Midlands Police about recent reports of needle spike assaults in bars and clubs.
After speaking with scientists, officers from West Midlands Police reassured people that the body’s natural response to pain that comes from a needle being pressed into the skin is to 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.
Det Insp 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 can vary depending on what substance has been used. Symptoms could include lowered inhibitions, loss of balance, feeling sleepy, visual problems, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness.
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.