‘There's nasty people out there’: Warning to students over drink spiking

Group of young people celebrating with drinks in nightclub

The UEA student union said it had seen a rise in reports of drinks being spiked. - Credit: Getty Images

Students are being urged to come forward if they suspect they have had their drinks spiked in a bid to clamp down on the crime.

It comes after a 23-year-old University of East Anglia student warned of the dangers of drug spiking of drinks after being left unable to see or stand up while on a night out in Norwich.

And several others have come forward - with strikingly similar stories.

Generic UEA, University of East Anglia. Picture: Supplied

UEA student union officers have urged students to report if they suspect their drinks have been spiked on a night out. - Credit: UEA

UEA Student’s Union said it has also seen increases in reported spiking incidents in its on campus venues.

Women's officer Patrycja Poplawska said: “There is no string of words that will adequately express the rage and sadness that I felt on hearing this. 

“I promise we are doing everything we can to prevent more cases and support those who are affected.”

In a blog post to reassure students, Ms Poplawska added: “There are conversations being had and plans being put into action, but in the here and now there are ways that you can support us and help to stamp out this behaviour."

Close up Image Of Man Drugging Woman's Drink In Bar

Spiking drinks carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. - Credit: Getty Images

She urged everyone who suspected they had been the victim to report it. 

“By doing so we can collect the information we need to impose consequences on those who spike and enhance our preventative actions,” she added.

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“If you see anything suspicious, report it. There is only so much we can do by reading anonymous confessions.”

Spiking someone’s beverage with drugs or alcohol is illegal for any reason, and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Although Rohypnol is known as the main date rape drug, perpetrators have been known to also use GBH or LSD.

Norfolk police figures show 10 incidents were reported in the year up to March 2020, but the force said some cases were not reported, so the figure may have been higher.

Many victims are reluctant to report it and feel like they won't be believed.

“You are not to blame for what happened to you. There are nasty people out there, and we can work together to make sure no one is hurt by taking preventative steps,” said Ms Poplawska.

“Please don't leave your drinks unattended, do use the anti-spiking devices available at the bars and do seek immediate help if you believe you have been spiked.”

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