The protests started after a sharp increase in recent months in reports of drink tampering and needle sticks. The victims, young women are injected with drugs into the back or leg in nightclubs. The phenomenon occurs at a time when students are returning to campuses after a long absence due to the pandemic.
The “Girls Night In” groups, who already are active in about 30 cities, they want that immediate action is taken to prevent abuse, called “pecking” in the jargon, with measures ranging from provision of caps that can be placed over drinks until increased vigilance in clubs and bars.
The National Council of Police Chiefs indicated that confirmed 198 cases of adulterated drinks in September and October in the UK, and 24 reports of people injected during nights out.
The police in Nottingham, in central England, said last week that additional agents will patrol during the weekends for people to enjoy a safe night out.
Nottingham Police said Since October 2, 14 women and one man have claimed they were bitten with “something sharp, unlike the traditional method of contaminated alcoholic beverages.”
Student Zara Owen, 19, told the BBC that lost consciousness shortly after arriving with friends at a nightclub in town a few weeks ago. Added that He didn’t remember what had happened that night, but he woke up with a pain in his leg before discovering a puncture.
On Brighton, a seaside town in southern England, detectives say they are investigating six reports from women claiming they were pricked and injected in the past week.
Police conduct night raids and all reports are taken “very seriously,” said Police Chief Justin Burtenshaw, commander of Brighton and Hove. Anyone who believes they may have been the victim of a puncture should report it to the police immediately so they can be tested for possible drugs before the effects wear off, he added.