Police probing reports Norwich clubbers have been spiked by needles
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Detectives are investigating after reports at least two people have been spiked with needles in Norwich nightclub attacks.
Police are understood to be looking into four incidents, at least two of which involved victims being spiked with needles, thought to have happened in clubs on the city's Prince of Wales Road on one night.
A Norwich police chief has today urged revellers to be vigilant and to "look out for each other" at a time when there have been reports of similar attacks elsewhere in the country being investigated by police, including Nottingham, West Yorkshire and Scotland.
Superintendent Terry Lordan, district commander for Norwich, has confirmed Norfolk Police were investigating a total of four incidents, two of which were "spike related", which are believed to have happened at two city venues on Thursday (October 21).
The mother of one girl understood to be the victim of a needle attack, has posted a message on social media in a bid to warn others.
She wrote her daughter was "injected with something" in the incident and felt a "scratch on her arm" after "some random bloke kept trying to dance with her".
She said: "Within half an hour her legs had gone and she describes her head as feeling heavy and spaced out."
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The woman said police had "been amazing" and were taking it "very seriously" but amid reports of other girls being injected warned others to be aware this could happen to them.
She said: "Please don't think this can't happen to you or your kids" before urging others to "take care".
This newspaper is aware of another incident involving a college student who was spiked with a needle in a Prince of Wales Road club and had to be taken to hospital by her friends.
Supt Lordan said: "People will be concerned, I have no doubt about that.
“We’ve had four incidents that we’re currently investigating.
“We have detectives who will be looking at CCTV throughout the night-time economy and venues.”
Supt Lordan said detectives were trying to identify any suspects by looking at footage from clubs but urged pub and club goers to be vigilant, particularly with the busy Halloween weekend coming up.
He said: “If anyone has seen anything or has got any information I would ask people to contact us.”
Following the incidents Supt Lordan said police were working with venues in the area as well as security staff in the city’s night time economy.
Police will flood the city as part of an Impact night event taking place over the weekend where police work together with other agencies to help make it a safer night out for everyone.
Supt Lordan said: “Next weekend I’m expecting to be really busy - one of the busiest this year.
“That will see a significant increase in officer numbers.”
On Prince of Wales Road on Saturday night, clubbers were on edge following the incidents.
One woman who wished to remain anonymous said: "I'm very worried, it makes me not want to go out.
"Unlike drink spiking, you can't take precautions, you're totally defenceless.
"It makes me suspicious of everyone, and that's a scary thought."
Another woman added: "It's so sad that this is a thing women have to think about.
"It's terrifying someone is just going round with needles.
"It just shows we have a long way to go when it comes to women's safety.
"It's absolutely disgusting, I hope the people they caught get prosecuted."
A man who was out drinking with them said: "I'm absolutely appalled by it, it makes me feel like I have to be on guard watching out for my female friends.
"Why can't people just have a nice evening out, it's ridiculous that people would resort to this just to get some weird fix."
If you are with a friend who you think has been spiked you should:
- Stay with them and keep talking to them.
- Call an ambulance if their condition deteriorates.
- Don't let them go home alone or with someone you don't know or trust.
- Try and prevent them from drinking more alcohol.
- Urine and blood tests carried out in the first 24 to 72 hours are most likely to detect drug traces.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked police forces for an update following a number of cases of women reporting being spiked by needles in nightclubs.
Police chiefs have also been tasked by the Commons Home Affairs Committee to urgently assess the scale of the problem around the country.
One student, who believes she was injected in a Nottingham club, said she felt "vulnerable" and "violated".
Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds urged Ms Patel to "deliver action without delay" and ensure "those responsible… face the full force of the law".
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for compulsory searches at nightclubs after a number of reported spikings by needle.
Groups from more than 30 universities around the UK have joined an online campaign calling for the boycott of nightclubs.
Information to police on 101.