Police joint operation underway after three more reports of spiking incidents in Nottingham in last 24 hours
A joint effort between partners is now underway after reports of further spiking incidents across Nottingham.
Nottinghamshire Police have teamed up with partner agencies to help tackle and reassure the local community that any reports of spiking are being robustly investigated and taken seriously.
The force received a further three reports in the last 24 hours of alleged spiking by something sharp as opposed to a traditional method of contaminated alcoholic drinks.
This brings the total number of incidents of alleged spikings since October 2, by a needle to 15.
While the majority of reports being made to officers are from women, many of whom are students, there have also been reports of men being potentially spiked too.
A total of 14 women and one man have reported being spiked by a needle.
It comes after a plea from a senior officer for anyone who believes they may have been spiked to come forward and report it immediately by speaking to officers patrolling, employees at venues across the city, calling 101 or using the forces’ online reporting system.
Reported offences made to officers last night and in the early hours of this morning have again taken place at different venues across the city centre and are not believed to be targeted to one specific venue.
However, there have still been no other linked offences committed as a result of anyone being spiked.
All offences reported are being thoroughly investigated by a team of detectives.
Partner agencies across the city have also been working together to reiterate the message of reporting any concerns or incidents as soon as possible, to make sure forensic samples are taken and CCTV enquiries are carried out to help accelerate enquires.
More officers have also been deployed to the city centre over the next few weekends.
This includes both uniformed high visibility officers and also a number of plain clothed officers.
Licensed premises are also positively working with officers to help tackle the issue and reassure their customers by increasing searches at entry points to the venues.
Meetings are also being arranged between venues and officers to help reiterate safety advice on how venues can further make those on a night out feel safe.
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "I would continue to urge people to report these incidents as soon as possible if you believe you have been spiked, feel you have been spiked, suspect anyone else has been spiked or see any suspicious activity.
"Some of the reports we received were historic and happened a few days ago but others were made as soon as possible.
"It is vital that we investigate any reports as quickly as possible which means us being able to secure evidence really quickly.
"It is really important that people carry on reporting any incidents of spiking to us as quickly as possible over the coming days and the weekends.
“I also want to reassure people that as a force we are placing a lot of resources into these enquires and continuing to thoroughly investigate every report made to us.
“The force has teamed up with its partners and licensed premises across the city meaning a vast amount of resources are being used to investigate any reports.
“This weekend premises across the city will also be carrying out more checks and searches for anyone entering their venues.
"This may cause some delays in entering but is ultimately necessary to ensure the safety of those on a night out.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused but are working with licensed premises to make sure every effort is being made to help make people feel safe.
“I understand that these reports and those from other cities are concerning but want to reassure people that by taking a multi-agency approach we are dedicating a vast amount of resources into helping tackle reports of spiking.”
Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am continuing to do my utmost to increase safety and feelings of safety. I have also led discussions in the city to develop a strategic approach to tackling violence against women and girls in Nottingham’s night time economy.
“Nottingham is known for being a brilliant night out and we want people to continue to enjoy our city safely.
“Any victims affected by these crimes can access help through Nottinghamshire Victim CARE on 0800 3047575.”
A Nottingham University spokesperson said: “We remain extremely concerned by these reports - no one should feel unsafe on a night out - and the deployment of more officers to patrol the city centre at night is welcome.
“However, the university will continue to work closely with police and the city’s nightlife providers to identify further action to make venues more secure and challenge the behaviours which lead to such criminal misogynistic actions.
“Whilst the responsibility for spiking lies solely with the perpetrators, if you are planning a night out in the city this weekend, we ask everyone to please be extra vigilant, look out for your friends and report any suspicions immediately for investigation and support.”
A spokesperson for Nottingham Trent University, added: “While we understand that this is not targeted at the student community, we are working with the police and Nottingham Trent Students’ Union to help ensure that our students can remain vigilant.
“Student safety is paramount to us and we encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to the police immediately.
“Any students who may have been affected by any of these matters are encouraged to contact us so we can provide them with support.
“Although we have had no confirmed reports of such incidents on university or NTSU premises, our students’ union has increased security at its venues, with increased security staff and increased searches on entry, and provided appropriate training to venue management staff.”