Chief Constable says Notts 'is safe' after more reports of spiking by injection
Nottinghamshire Police’s most senior officer is urging revellers to ‘come to town, it’s safe’ in the wake of several alleged spiking incidents.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said the force is working with partners to ensure they ‘get to the bottom’ of what has happened.
Mr Guildford, who has been a police officer since the 1990s, said he has never come across spiking by injection before and will be upping patrols in Nottingham city centre.
He also told revellers to expect ‘more searches’ at clubs over the coming days as the investigation continues.
He said several people have come forward to offer information about what they have witnessed and heard, and detectives are trawling CCTV footage.
Police said there have been 12 alleged spiking incidents administrated by ‘something sharp’, such as an injection, with the first reported on October 2.
But Mr Guildford said a few more people have come forward since and detectives have been working through these incidents today, October 21.
Reported offences have taken place on different days at different venues and are not believed to be targeted to one specific place.
The majority of reports are from young women, many of whom are students, but there have also been three reports of men being spiked.
Mr Guildford said: “I am determined to get to the bottom of it and I am still keeping an open mind.
“I want to reassure everyone this is a joined-up approach with lots of resources and there will be more officers on patrol.
“Also I want to provide a message that says ‘come to town, it is safe, there are lots of places to entertain you. Nottingham is a good, safe night out.”
Mr Guildford said since the news broke, he has been approached by other police forces who have also had similar reports, including in Lincoln, Cornwall and Scotland.
He said: “This is something distinctively different to what we have experienced previously in policing.
“It is unusual. I have never known of someone allegedly spiking someone with an implement.
“There are a lot of young people concerned about this and it is important we convey the message ‘it is safe to come into town’.”
He said he is keeping an open mind on whether this is an individual or a group and is calling on people who believe they have been spiked to report it immediately.
He said reporting it as soon as it happens, even if a friend does it on their behalf, provides that ‘forensic window’ to find out what substance has been administered.
He said: “This is something that is different and I want to look at every one of these cases carefully.”
Coun Toby Neal, Nottingham Council licensing committee chairman, said: “It is astonishing. Are a group of blokes going around doing this and what are we going to do to protect people?
“We don’t know until we have got a proper report from the police. Some women feel threatened and assaulted and we have to take that very seriously.
“We will be having discussions with door staff about how they search for things. Knives are the dominant concern and it is relatively easy to find them on people, but do they look for other things as well?”