Police have issued an urgent warning to nightclub goers to stay safe after fearing two women ‘spiked’ their drinks at a party in Northampton last weekend.
The two women were taken to hospital after collapsing in a downtown location on Friday evening (September 3).
Detectives say investigations are ongoing but treat the two incidents as related but believe there may have been more and have begged anyone else affected or having seen anything suspicious to make contact by calling the 101 using incident number 21000513253.
Investigating Officer Detective Luisa Garcia Y Harris of Northampton CID said: “Any report of this nature is taken very seriously, as increased alcohol consumption can cause serious harm. .
“Fortunately, both victims appear to be recovering well, and we are working to determine how they came about because of the affected drinks as well as the substance (s) involved – and who may have administered them.
“The increase in alcohol consumption is illegal and the penalties are severe. Anyone caught doing this, whether to friends as a supposed prank, or to strangers, can expect to be treated severely.
“I would also like to remind people to stay with their friends and always take care of their drinks when they are out. Don’t leave drinks unattended, take them from strangers, or grab drinks at random because you have no way of knowing what’s in them.
“If you think you may have had a doped drink, always see a doctor and report it to the police as soon as possible. If you have concerns at a party, always report them to site staff, street pastors or directly to our officers.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesperson added; “Whether it’s a prank or with the intention of stealing or assaulting the victim, it can take someone a few minutes to feel the effects of a fortified drink.
“The best way to protect yourself and your friends from drug addicts is to be aware of what you are consuming and never have a drink that you haven’t seen brewing in front of you. Never leave your drink without monitoring, even for a moment, and if it doesn’t taste good, don’t finish it.If you start to feel strange or bad, get help immediately.
“You never know who you are going to meet at a party, so always keep your cool. If someone seems too friendly and eager to give you a drink, be vigilant.”
■ Visit Aware of alcohol consumption for more information on fortified drinks.
Northamptonshire Police launched Operation Kayak ahead of the county’s nighttime economy reopening after the lockdown in July, dispatching plainclothes officers to target predatory behavior in town centers.
A Force spokesperson said at the time: “We liaise with door staff and nightlife economy companies so that if there is a problem inside an establishment, the police can be alerted Door staff will be in constant contact with our officers in the streets.
“We’re not going to be inside, but we’ll be outside in the hot spots around the taxi ranks, in the alleys and that sort of thing.
“We are committed to keeping our streets safe and this operation is meant to help by making the county a hostile place for those who intend to commit sexual offenses.
Detective Inspector Liz Basham, who heads Operation Kayak, added: “Government restrictions are lifted and we want people to enjoy a night out fearlessly – we want them to feel reassured that we have officers patrolling the streets keeping a watchful eye on potential offenders.
“Operation Kayak is a joint effort and we are working alongside CCTV operators, community safety partnerships, door staff, fast food outlets and others working in the nighttime economy to bring the message that delinquents are not welcome in our cities. “