Detective's warning over fears women's drinks were spiked in Northampton nightclub
Police plea to "stay safe" after two victims taken to hospital
Police have issued an urgent warning to club-goers to stay safe after fears two women had their drinks 'spiked' on a night out in Northampton last weekend.
Both women were taken to hospital after collapsing in a town centre venue on Friday night (September 3).
Detectives say investigations are ongoing but are treating the two incidents as linked but believe there may have been more and pleaded with anyone else who was affected or saw anything suspicious to get in touch by calling 101 using incident number 21000513253.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Luisa Garcia Y Harris, of Northampton CID, said: “Any reports of this nature are taken very seriously as drink spiking can lead to serious harm.
“Thankfully both victims appear to be recovering well, and we are working to establish how they came by the affected drinks as well as the substance or substances involved — and who may have administered them.
“Drink spiking is illegal and the penalties are serious. Anyone caught doing this, either to friends as a supposed prank, or to strangers, can expect to be robustly dealt with.
“I’d also like to remind people to stick with friends and always look after their drinks while they are out. Don’t leave drinks unattended, don’t take them from strangers or pick up drinks at random because you have no way of knowing what’s in them.
“If you think you may have had a drink spiked, please always seek medical help and report it to the police as soon as possible. If you have concerns on a night out, always report them to venue staff, street pastors or directly to our officers.”
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman added; "Whether it’s done as a prank or with the intent to steal from or assault the victim; it can take only minutes for someone to feel the effects of a spiked drink.
"The best way to protect yourself and your friends from being spiked is to be aware of what you consume and never take a drink that you haven’t seen being prepared in front of you. Never leave your drink unattended, even for a moment, and if it doesn’t taste right, don’t finish it. If you start to feel strange or unwell, seek help straight away.
"You never know who you’re going to meet on a night out, so always keep your wits about you. If someone appears over-friendly and eager to get you to drink, be vigilant."
■ Visit Drink Aware for more information about spiked drinks.
Northamptonshire Police launched Operation Kayak ahead of the county's night-time economy reopening after lockdown in July, sending plain-clothed officers targeting predatory behaviour in town centres.
A Force spokesperson said at the time: "We're liaising with door staff and businesses in the night-time economy so that if there is a problem inside an establishment, police can be alerted. Door staff will be in constant contact with our officers on the streets.
"We won't be inside — but we will be outside in hotspot areas around taxi ranks, in alleys and that sort of thing.
"We are committed to ensuring our streets are safe and this operation is intended to help do this by making the county a hostile place for those intent on committing sexual offences.
Detective Inspector Liz Basham, who is leading Operation Kayak, added: “Government restrictions are lifting and we want people to enjoy an evening out without feeling fearful – we want them to feel reassured that we have officers patrolling the streets keeping a watchful eye out for potential offenders.
“Operation Kayak is a joint effort and we are working alongside CCTV operators, Community Safety Partnerships, door staff, fast food outlets and other working in the night time economy to spread the message that offenders are unwelcome in our towns.”