Several women, including students, fear they have been targeted by people injecting them with substances at venues.
Reports have come from a number of cities, including Nottingham, Leeds and Edinburgh.
A Home Office source said: “This is absolutely awful. We have asked for an update from the police on this and would encourage anyone to report this behaviour to the police.”
Tory MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the Women’s Select Committee, said yesterday she was “horrified” by the reports.
She said they highlight a “culture that does not respect consent”, and added: “We have to address the cultures that are underpinning this, we need to make sure our laws are fit for purpose and that young women are not seen as easy prey for this sort of depraved abuse.”
University students have formed an anti-spiking campaign called Girls Night In which will boycott clubs in protest, with Leeds’ stayaway planned for next Wednesday.
Campaign organisers for Leeds Joscelin Story, Isabel Davies and Izzy Broadhurst, all 20, said they are “trying to hold clubs accountable for creating safe spaces for us to go out in…Sadly, not a lot of change ever happens unless there’s like a financial incentive. If we can reduce revenues enough for one night, maybe they will listen.”
Chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association Michael Kill said the organisation was “very concerned” and called on the Home Office to do more to investigate.