More victims yesterday came forward to reveal how they were injected with unknown substances in clubs and bars. The needle attacks, reported in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have been condemned as “appalling” and “disgusting”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel this week demanded an update from police following an apparent surge in cases.
Universities UK, which represents higher education facilities across the country, said: “The safety of students is of the utmost importance and universities are working together with local police forces, clubs and bars, and student unions to ensure they are fully aware of all risks to student safety.”
National Union of Students president Larissa Kennedy, said: “It’s absolutely disgusting that in the past few days a number of students have reported instances of women being spiked by injections on nights out.”
She called for support for victims and “a culture shift across society” to end “gendered violence”.
A joint statement from the University of Bristol and its students’ union said: “We are aware of an increasing number of reports from across the country of young people experiencing drink spiking or even spiking via injection.
“This is incredibly disturbing, particularly as this is the first time a lot of young people have been able to get out and have fun following months of lockdowns and restrictions.
“We stand together in condemning such appalling behaviour.”
One teenager told how she started to vomit, almost collapsed and was rushed to hospital after a night out with pals in Nottingham.
Management student Sarah Buckle, 19, said she felt “violated” when she found a pinprick in her hand. She added: “I knew I had been spiked but it would have never occurred to me it was via injection if my hand wasn’t throbbing. You think spiking is to do with your drink. You don’t think something would go into your body.”
Zara Owen, 19, believes she was spiked at another nightclub in Nottingham on Monday. She said: “I woke up the next morning with almost zero recollection from that night.
“I woke up fine ‑ no hangover or anything ‑ but a sharp agonising pain in my leg. I had been spiked. I was in jeans and the needle went through thick denim straight into my leg.”
A spokesman for Nottingham University said: “We are working closely with Nottinghamshire Police and the city’s nightlife venues.”
Yesterday an investigation was launched after a University of Exeter student claimed she was rushed to A&E after being injected in the back at the city’s Fever & Boutique nightclub on Saturday.
Her mum wrote on social media: “We just hope the needle is clean.”
A University of Exeter spokesman said: “We are working with the police on their investigation into reports of a suspected assault against a student and urge anyone with information to contact Devon and Cornwall Police.”
More than 150,000 people have now signed a petition urging the Government to make searching guests at bars a legal requirement.
Last night a spokesman for Rape Crisis England said: “Spiking someone with drugs or alcohol can have severe health impacts, leave them vulnerable to crime and have a lasting impact on their wellbeing.
“The idea that men are going into nightclubs to directly target and inject women is horrifying.”