A police commander has issued a warning to revellers in Norfolk to be vigilant about drink spiking as people gear up to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Additional officers will be out patrolling the county's nightlife on what is traditionally the busiest night of the year for police.

Officers are reiterating advice on what to do if someone has been spiked – report it to the police and get tested by them quickly. 

Spiking is when someone puts alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink or body without their consent or knowledge and is illegal.

Following a rise in spiking reports during the autumn of 2021, officers increased their focus on spiking by visiting venues and working closely with licensed premises staff.

Eastern Daily Press:

Many venues have given extra training to staff to ensure that all reports of spiking are logged and reported immediately.

Superintendent Terry Lordan, the policing commander for Norwich, said: "Spiking is a complex and challenging offence to investigate.

"Drugs pass through the system quickly and there is often limited evidence to identify offenders, which means it’s not easy to get these cases to court.

"In order to have the best chance of identifying drugs and bringing offenders to justice, our message to anyone who thinks they have been spiked is to report early so we have the best chance of capturing evidence.

"I would also encourage anyone who witnesses, or suspects spiking is taking place to alert venue staff who can then tell officers."

Mr Lordan said his team are well aware of how busy Norfolk will be.

He added: "We're expecting the nightlife to be very busy this weekend.

Eastern Daily Press:

"Additional officers will be on patrol, and we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening.

"Thanks to everyone for their support over this year and we wish you all a happy and safe 2023."

It comes after the East of England Ambulance Service declared a critical incident status for the second time this month amid a high volume of 999 calls.

Tricia D’Orsi, director of nursing for NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: "If you’re celebrating the New Year, whether out with friends or at home, please know your alcohol limits and stay safe.

"Our emergency departments are for serious or life-threatening emergencies only, so please think carefully about what service you need when seeking health help over the weekend."