City clubs trialling anti-spiking kits to stamp out 'despicable' crime

Police monitoring Prince of Wales Road in Norwich for reports of drink spiking

Police monitoring Prince of Wales Road in Norwich for reports of drink spiking - Credit: Neil Perry

Clubbers can find out if they have been victims of spiking through simple tests being trialled at bars across the city.

The six-week anti-spiking campaign pilot, which has started, is being led by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and is aimed at keeping people safe over Christmas.

According to a hospital spokeswoman there were 90 incidences of spiking across Norfolk since the beginning of October 2021.

The test kits will include equipment to take a urine sample, a swab from the place where people believe they may have ben injected and a drinks sample.

Tests are done in clubs and bars and the samples are then analysed at the NNUH.

Andre Smith, owner of Prince of Wales club Cans 'N' Cocktails

Andre Smith, owner of Prince of Wales club Cans 'N' Cocktails - Credit: Cans 'N' Cocktails

Andre Smith, owner of Cans 'N' Cocktails, who is taking part in the trial, believes Norwich is the first local authority in the UK to run the trial.

He said: "It is about getting information. People are being spiked in venues and it is important venues do what we can to stamp out spiking.

"People who spike others are despicable. People shouldn't be looking over their shoulder on a night out. They should be having fun. The fact that people can ruin that enjoyment is very sad."

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Mr Smith said the samples, which take around two days to analyse, are anonymised and will reveal vital information about what substances are being used in incidents of drug spiking to help the police tackle the issue.

As well as clubs and bars, the trial is being supported by the SOS wellbeing bus and Norfolk Police and it is hoped it will prevent some people attending emergency departments, if deemed unnecessary, through the tests.

Pilot creator Michelle Frost, a biomedical scientist at the NNUH, said: “This is a really exciting project. It is a hugely important campaign as we aim to learn more about spiking so we can better tackle it together. It is an extremely anxious time for anyone who thinks they may have been spiked."

Chief inspector Ed Brown

Ed Brown, Norfolk Police Chief Inspector - Credit: Neil Perry

Ed Brown, Norfolk Police chief inspector, said: “We have seen that reports of spiking are on the increase in the county, and this is a great campaign that will give reassurance to the public when someone believes that they may have been spiked."