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Poison with intent Two men arrested in Sussex on suspicion of spiking by drinks and injection

"Police have received a number of recent reports of people becoming unwell during or after nights out, with some finding puncture marks on their body or believing their drink had been tampered with"

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There have been nine cases of suspected spiking in Kerry in the last month alone

There have been nine cases of suspected spiking in Kerry in the last month alone

There have been nine cases of suspected spiking in Kerry in the last month alone

Two men have been arrested in Sussex on suspicion of spiking by injection and in drinks during nights out. 

A number of women, including some who found puncture marks on their body, have reported feeling unwell during or after nights out in East Sussex recently.

A 28-year-old man from Hove was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of administering poison with intent to injure.

A 19-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of the same offence.

Both have been bailed while inquiries continue, according to a Sussex Police spokesman.

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Nightclub stock picture

Nightclub stock picture

Nightclub stock picture

He said: “Police have received a number of recent reports of people becoming unwell during or after nights out, with some finding puncture marks on their body or believing their drink had been tampered with.

“Officers have increased patrols as part of their continued work policing the night-time economy and have been working closely with partners and licensed premises on initiatives to help keep people safe.

“These include unannounced licence checks at venues, briefings with security staff prior to opening and targeted, visible patrols around bars, clubs and restaurants every night of the week.”

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, divisional commander for Brighton and Hove, said: “We continue to work around the clock to investigate these troubling reports and will do everything in our power to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

“Please be assured that we take all reports incredibly seriously and ask anybody who believes they may have been a victim to let police or bar staff know as soon as possible so they can be tested before potential drugs leave their system and evidence can be gathered.”

There has been an increase in cases of drink and needle spiking in bars and nightclubs across the UK recently and here in Ireland as the country’s nightlife reopens.

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Last week it was revealed that gardaí are investigating an incident where a woman was reportedly spiked with a needle in Dublin.

Gardaí in Store Street are now looking into a report from a young woman in relation to an alleged spiking incident, where she noticed “physical bruising possibly caused by a needle prick.”

A Garda spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána in Store Street are investigating a report from a female in relation to an alleged assault.

“The nature of the incident is that the female became disorientated whilst socialising in a licensed premises and discovered the following morning physical bruising possibly caused by a needle prick.

“The injured party in this case was supported by friends and brought home safely on the night and subsequently received medical treatment. An Garda Síochána continue to liaise with and support the injured party.

“An Garda Síochána continue to investigate to determine the exact circumstances of this incident.

“Any incident of this type of crime (assault/sexual assault) including those with evidence to suggest a link with ‘spiking’ will be investigated by either local Gardaí supported by or attached to Divisional Proactive Services Units.”

The spokesperson added that “any victims of similar incidents or any form of ‘drug spiking’ to come forward and report such incidents to local gardaí.”

It comes after reports emerged that at least six Munster Technological University (MTU) students were spiked with drugs earlier this month.

They each contacted the MTU Students Union (SU) separately to report that their drinks had been spiked but all of them said they had suddenly felt extremely weak and very sick.

This is despite the fact that all of them insisted that they had only drunk a small amount of alcohol.

The students, both male and female, who have all since recovered, complained of feeling disorientated and ill.

The complaints all related to the same night and the same venue.

The students reported the incidents to the welfare office of the Tralee MTU campus which prompted the Students’ Union to mount a special awareness campaign in which lollipops were placed in peoples’ drinks at various events to show just how easy it is to spike a drink.

“Our first and second years have probably never stepped foot in a nightclub in a normal environment so just to give them the awareness because the last the last thing we want to do is victim blame,” said SU President Chris Clifford.

Across the UK, there has been a spate of reports of women being drugged while on a night out.

Groups of students are now calling for people to boycott nightclubs to ensure the "spiking outbreak is taken seriously".

Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked for an update and a Home Office source said: "This is absolutely awful. We have asked for an update from the police on this and would encourage anyone to report this behaviour to the police."

Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said the force is investigating reports of people suspecting their drinks have been spiked.

“A small number of victims have said that they may have felt a scratching sensation as if someone may have spiked them physically,” Supt Craner said.

"We do not believe that these are targeted incidents; they are distinctly different from anything we have seen previously as victims have disclosed a physical scratch type sensation before feeling very unwell," she added.

"This is subtly different from feelings of intoxication through alcohol according to some victims."

Police in Northern Ireland have also confirmed officers were called to Foyle Street on 16 October after a teenage girl believed that her drinks had been spiked and was taken to hospital.

The force said it was also aware of a related post on social media claiming, "several individuals had their drinks spiked in the city during the weekend."

Police Scotland confirmed it was aware of social media posts about spiking incidents involving injections and officers are carrying out enquiries.

It added that a small number of reports from the Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow areas are being investigated, but they do not appear to be linked.

The spate of recent cases has sparked a huge student movement calling for people to boycott nightclubs.

One campaign first set up in Edinburgh, called Girls Night In, now has at least 25 groups, run by students, set up in university towns.

One, called Girls Night In Nottingham, has called for people to boycott nightclubs on 27 October to ensure the "spiking outbreak is taken seriously.

Universities have said they are working with bars and police to help ensure students' safety after the reports.

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