A man has been arrested as part of an investigation into an attempted drink spiking at a nightclub, following reports of a rash of similar incidents across the country.
Lincolnshire Police said a 35-year-old man was detained “on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to administer them” at about 3am on Friday.
The arrest came after what the force called “swift and proactive work in partnership from staff at a Lincoln nightclub”, although they did not name the venue.
The suspected offence “doesn’t involve a needle”, police said.
It comes as Nottinghamshire Police said they were investigating a total of 15 separate incidents of young women and men being spiked with “something sharp” in less than a month.
The reports follow other “spiking” incidents in several parts of the country, including in Exeter, and in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In the early hours of this morning, a 35-yr-old local man was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to administer them. This followed some swift and proactive work in partnership from staff at a Lincoln night club, our Officers and CCTV. Inc 20 of 22 Oct. pic.twitter.com/o4dSpgmFFZ
— Lincolnshire Police (@LincsPolice) October 22, 2021
Lincolnshire Police said the man detained was still in custody.
Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner Marc Jones said: “We cannot accept people being unsafe when they go out with friends for a drink.
“This arrest should send a huge signal to those would-be criminals who look to prey on our community in this despicable way.”
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Police said they had received three new reports in the last 24 hours of being “spiked with a needle”, taking the total of such incidents under investigation to 15.
They said a number of the victims reported being spiked by some sort of injection and have reported effects “consistent with a substance being administered”.
Fourteen women and one man have reported being spiked with a sharp object.
The Nottinghamshire force said they would be deploying more officers into Nottingham city centre, with a police dog operation planned for Saturday night and plain-clothes officers on duty.
A superb arrest! We cannot accept people being unsafe when they go out with friends for a drink. This arrest should send a huge signal to those would be criminals who look to prey on our community in this despicable way. https://t.co/dBaebzqbq4
— Marc Jones (@MarcJonesLincs) October 22, 2021
They said they had also received 32 other spiking reports since September 4.
The first of the 15 was reported on October 2, and one victim suffered an injury which could be consistent with a needle.
The force said the highest number of reports were made on Friday October 15, with many of the complaints being made by students.
A 20-year-old man was arrested as part of a wider investigation into spiking after officers received a report of suspicious activity in Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham city centre, the following day.
He remains on conditional bail.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they were investigating reports of a woman being attacked with a needle in Fever & Boutique in Exeter on Saturday October 16.
The spate of reported incidents prompted Home Secretary Priti Patel to ask police forces to assess the scale of the problem.
Groups from universities around the UK have also joined an online campaign calling for the boycott of nightclubs, with campaigners seeking “tangible” changes to make them safer, such as covers/stoppers for drinks, better training for staff and more rigorous searches of clubbers.
A petition launched last week to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search people on entry has now gained more than 160,000 signatures.
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It is really important that people carry on reporting any incidents of spiking to us as quickly as possible over the coming days and the weekends.
“I also want to reassure people that as a force we are placing a lot of resources into these inquiries and continuing to thoroughly investigate every report made to us.
“The force has teamed up with its partners and licensed premises across the city meaning a vast amount of resources are being used to investigate any reports.
“This weekend premises across the city will also be carrying out more checks and searches for anyone entering their venues.
“This may cause some delays in entering but is ultimately necessary to ensure the safety of those on a night out.”