Investigation launched after 200 students report their drinks were spiked in Bournemouth clubs (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Investigation launched after 200 students report their drinks were spiked in Bournemouth clubs
AN INVESTIGATION is being launched after claims that 200 students reported their drinks being ‘spiked’ in Bournemouth pubs and clubs in one week.
Two victims were reported to have needed hospital treatment and a health official has called for measures to safeguard young people living in or visiting the resort.
In email correspondence to council and public health officers, Karen Wood, joint commissioning manager for Bournemouth Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), said around 200 new students had reported ‘incidences of spiking’ during the week preceding the annual Fresher’s Fair.
The DAAT team’s alarming findings came following conversations with students attending the fair at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus on Saturday, September 29.
Ms Wood said: “This is a worrying amount of incidences and, in a couple of cases, individuals needed to be hospitalised.
“Could I suggest that as council officers and officers interested in a public health prospective we get together to look at preventative measures that could be taken to safeguard the young people visiting or resident of Bournemouth.”
In a statement later, Ms Wood added: “We take all claims of this nature seriously and we are currently co-ordinating a meeting with relevant departments across the council, the NHS and police.”
Town centre councillor David Smith, inset, was among those who received the email. He said: “This is extremely concerning and a sorry state of affairs. I would warn young people not to leave their drinks unattended; they should be very careful.
“It’s almost as if someone is deliberately doing this and the message needs to get out that drinks are being spiked, on this sort of scale. I would urge pubs and clubs to examine their CCTV footage.”
Bournemouth University spokesman James Donald said he was surprised by the DAAT figures while Students’ Union President Louise Bryant said: “Since the anecdotal evidence was brought to our attention that students had reported drink spiking during the Arrivals period in Bournemouth, we have obviously been concerned and have conducted our own enquiries into this issue.
“We have had no reports of this directly affecting our students, but will continue to emphasise to them how to stay safe when out in Bournemouth.
A Dorset police spokeswoman said students receive information about the threat of spiked drinks from Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
They said additional events are being planned for students with the Operation Protect campaign offering crucial advice for nights out in Bournemouth.
If It Happens To You DAAT has issued advice to prevent drinks being spiked:
- Never leave drinks unattended.
- Do not accept a drink from a stranger.
- If you suspect your drink has been ‘spiked’ tell someone you trust immediately.
- Go to a safe place such as home or hospital if you are feeling