A famous London nightclub has resorted to offering urine and drinks testing as panic rises over reports of women being spiked via injection.
XOYO, near Old Street Station, describes itself as ‘one of London’s best-loved nightclubs and live music venues’ and was voted as one of DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs.
David Vickery, XOYO’s general manager, said he wants to ensure all his customers feel safe and secure on a night out.
‘I think it’s important if you have somebody who thinks they’ve been spiked, whether they have or not, it should be treated as if they have,’ Mr Vickery told MyLondon.
‘We’ve got that at XOYO. There’s a lot of anxiety coming out of the pandemic, people are concerned and cautious about going out.
London nightclub XOYO, which has been voted one of the 100 best clubs by an industry magazine, has introduced urine and drinks tests to reassure customers
‘I think if we can make people safe and feel happier, I don’t see any downside to putting this in place.’
Mr Vickery explained that the urine and drink tests at XOYO can be accessed through a medic they have onsite each night during opening hours.
The test service has only been used once since it was introduced and that result was negative. Mr Vickery said the priority is that customers know these tests are there if they need them.
Across the country, reports of suspected spikings by needle injection are on the rise.
In Hull, a 27-year-old single mother claims someone was ‘either trying to rape or kill her’ after alleging she was spiked with an EpiPen-style injection in the course of a seven-and-a-half hour drinking session.
She described later waking up during a hospital examination with no memory of how she got there.
Reports of spiking by needle injection are becoming increasingly common as bars and nightclubs across the UK take steps to reassure customers
Police received nearly 300 ‘spiked by needle injection’ reports in the last TWO MONTHS
Nearly 300 spiked by needle injection reports have been recorded across the UK in the last two months alone, new figures have revealed.
The statistics from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) confirm fears that the new form of assault is sweeping the country.
Police forces across the UK were asked to tally up how many incidents involving ‘some form of injection’ have been reported.
A total of 274 were recorded between September and November 8, according to NationalWorld.
It comes after the Girls Night In movement in October saw women and men avoid going out to bars and clubs in Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol as they demanded better safety measures.
Dozens of local Instagram pages were created to spread the news of the Girls Night In campaign, with women from several university cities staying in, ‘spreading awareness and challenging clubs’ to keep people safe.
Boycotts took place in at least 40 cities including Bristol, Brighton, Bournemouth, Belfast, Nottingham and Southampton.
The number of spiking cases reported between September and November 8 relates to reported incidents, which means they may not have been confirmed yet by the police and officially recorded as crimes.
Concerns over possible needle spiking were first raised in October, although opinion is divided on how likely it is that needles are being widely used in place of drink spiking.
Some spiking victims have reported feeling pinches on their arms in clubs and later developing bruises, prompting fears they had been assaulted with needles.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said police forces continue to work with pubs and clubs to increase searches and guidance to staff.
‘We are continuing to gather responses from all forces across the UK in relation to incidents involving some form of injection, with a total of 274 reports confirmed from the start of September into November,’ he said.
The woman, who is a social worker, was out in Hull city centre with her colleagues on Saturday, November 13.
But she finished the night ‘unable to feel her legs’ before ‘having 10 fits’ and being rushed to Hull Royal Infirmary in an ambulance.
She said she had met some work friends at around 3pm, after which they were joined by her best friend, aunt, cousin, and another friend at around 4.30pm.
The woman said she tried to pace herself and stopped drinking for about an hour but started again at 6pm. The group then headed to their next bar from 9.30pm until 10.30pm, before leaving to take one of their friends home and going to a shop for snacks.
Within around five minutes, the woman said she began feeling strange.
She said: ‘I said to my friends that my legs felt weird and I was freezing. I just kept telling them that I was cold. They told me that I then bent down to sit in the corner of the street.’
Her friends called for a taxi home before things began to ‘turn bad really fast’.
She added: ‘Everything went really quick, it happened over 29 minutes from being really cold to then my friends saying I just would not come around – I think at the time they just thought I had had too much to drink really.
‘My friend said I laid back in the taxi and kept repeating that I was cold, I then looked up and said, “I think I have been spiked.”‘
Her friends then called an ambulance and the woman woke up in hospital.
She added: ‘I woke up and I was naked. I didn’t know what had happened, I thought I had been raped.
‘The nurse then said that she had found a mark on my bum, a big red circle with a small brown centre, and said she believed I had been spiked with something like an EpiPen in my bum.
‘My mum looked at it when we were home too and said there was a red ring on my bum.’
She added: ‘I honestly will never go out again. I don’t trust anyone anymore. It’s sad as I’m only 27.
‘It hurts when I walk. I can’t even walk properly but I am trying to hide it from my daughter. I have to be strong for her.
‘I would love to be able to rest but I can’t, I’m a single mum. I’m just trying to get on with things best as I can.
‘I’ve always been quite a confident person and not really scared of anything, but this has totally knocked my confidence.’
A spokesperson for Humberside Police confirmed that investigations into the incident are ongoing.