A pub in Nottingham said it will ban men for one night a week after reports of women being spiked by injection while out clubbing in the city.
The Playwright, which is near Nottingham Trent University’s city campus, will have its first girls-only night on November 3.
All the staff working that night will also only be women.
Josh Wheelhouse, the manager of the pub, told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘We are just very excited to do it.
The Playwright pub in Nottingham (pictured) will only admit girls for one night of the week from November 3. The weekly ban on men comes after multiple reports of women being spiked by injection across the city as well as the rest of the UK
‘I have already spoken to a couple of societies at Nottingham Trent University, and we will actually organise workshops to educate women on what to do in situations that would put them at risk.’
Mr Wheelhouse said he was initially unsure whether to introduce the ban on men because he was afraid people would see him as ‘the guy who is trying to make money out of this terrifying thing that happens to women’.
However, he said: ‘I needed to do something.
‘I do not think it is fair for women to stay home.
‘We should be the ones to do that.’
The pub manager said he was in discussions with other pubs who are considering similar bans.
In recent days a number of women have shared their experiences of being spiked.
Kirsty, who is from Swansea, was out enjoying a drink earlier this month when she was spiked with an unknown substance that left her unconscious. She said she was ‘very shaken’ and now ‘anxious’ to go out drinking again any time soon
Kirsty Howells, 25, shared a picture from her hospital bed after she was spiked – when victims are drugged without their knowledge – in Swansea one evening
Kirsty Howells, 25, was pictured unconscious in a hospital bed after being ‘injected with Ketamine’ amid a string of women reporting being ‘spiked’ by injection in nightclubs.
Miss Howells posted a photo taken in hospital following a night out in Swansea.
It was shared on Facebook by her aunt, who said Ms Howells is thought to have been ‘injected with ketamine’, before being rushed to A&E by her boyfriend.
AZara Owen, a 19-year-old university student, said she was also spiked, while out at Nottingham’s Pryzm nightclub on October 11 before waking up the next morning with a limp and a ‘pinprick’ on her leg.
Zara Owen said she woke up ‘with a limp’ before finding a ‘pinprick’ on her leg the morning after attending Nottingham’s Pryzm nightclub
She recalled entering the venue with friends and made her way to the bar, but added that was the last thing she could remember before waking up in her bed the next day.
Ms Owen tweeted: ‘I woke up fine, no hangover or anything but a sharp agonising pain in my leg.
‘I told my mum and she thought it might’ve been a pulled muscle but then I realised I didn’t remember anything.
‘I had to go to campus and I realised I had a massive limp. If my memory was there I would’ve neglected this but this is a thing that never, ever happens to me and it really confused me.
‘I decided to go to hospital to get checked out but after eight hours of only having a triage and background info taken from me, I decided to go home.
Zara Owen said she found a pinprick on her leg the next day (pictured above). She said she had no hangover, but was suffering a sharp agonising pain in her leg
The entrance to Stealth, another Nottingham nightclub, which says it also received reports of two women feeling unwell as a result of being spiked with needles
‘The next morning I felt my leg and examined it to a further extent as I didn’t get any help medically. I touched the part where I was in the most pain and I found a pinprick. I had been spiked.
‘I was in jeans. A needle went through thick denim straight into my leg.’
Stealth, another Nottingham nightclub, said it had also received reports of two women feeling unwell within the last fortnight as a result of being spiked.
One 19-year-old woman said she was targeted with a mystery liquid as she left the venue in on October 12.
Ellie Simpson said her sister felt a ‘pinch on the back of her arm’ before blacking out and being taken to hospital, where blood samples were taken.
Nottinghamshire Police has said a local male has been arrested, but did not state which incident this is in connection with
Almost 200 drink spiking incident reported over the past two months
Almost 200 drink spiking incidents have been reported to police forces across the UK over the past two months.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said there have been 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking in September and October across various parts of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus 24 reports of some form of injection.
On Friday afternoon, the NPCC said there were around 140 confirmed reports of drink spiking, but this figure was revised after more data was received.
It said the number included both men and women, although the majority of cases featured young women.
Alleged offences have taken place at licensed premises and private parties.
The 198 figure is based on data received from 40 police forces, and the NPCC said it is still to receive data from five forces which it expects over the weekend.
The NPCC said 58 of the 198 reports of drink spiking were made to the Metropolitan Police.
The NPCC lead for drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said: ‘Clearly these reports are very concerning.
‘We are working at pace with forces, law enforcement agencies such as the NCA and other partners including the Home Office and universities to understand the scale of offending, establish any links between the allegations and ultimately bring any identified offenders to justice.’
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to administer poison in connection with a spate of reported drink-spiking incidents involving needles in Nottingham.
Nottinghamshire Police said the men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested after receiving information from a member of the public on Wednesday, following a general appeal for help from a senior officer.
The force said both had been arrested ‘on suspicion of conspiracy to administer poison with intent to injure, annoy or aggrieve’, and placed in police custody.
The arrests are not being linked to any specific allegation of spiking by a needle, or contamination of a drink.
Both men have since been released under investigation, the force said in an update.
Nottinghamshire Police said it will deploy extra officers to ensure people can enjoy a ‘safe night out’.
Ms Simpson, 21, added that she was ‘in shock’ and her sister had not been out clubbing since the incident took place.
She told the BBC: ‘Normally she’s the type of person that would stick up for herself, so I think if it could happen to her it could happen to somebody who is more vulnerable,
‘I don’t think it’s quite yet sunk in what’s happened to her.
‘It’s really frightening because I don’t know how you’re meant to prevent it.
‘Obviously you can put your hand over your drink but how do you stop somebody stabbing you with a needle?’
A statement from Stealth said: ‘We, much like our customers, are concerned by the national news reports about spiking in bars and nightclubs around the UK, and believe it is absolutely unacceptable for women to have tp live in fear of being spiked on nights out.
‘Here at Stealth, in recent weeks two of our customers have reported feeling unwell and suspected they may have been spiked. Both were seen by our on site medic who made sure they were appropriately looked after, were able to safely leave the venue, and we are currently liaising with police to aid in their ongoing investigations.
‘Customer safety is our top priority and our aim is to create a safe environment for people to come together and enjoy a night out.’
Nottinghamshire Police said a local male has been bailed following a report of an incident in Lower Parliament Street on October 16.
The man was arrested on suspicion of possession of class A and class B and cause administer poison or noxious thing with intent to injure, aggrieve and annoy.
A police spokesperson said: ‘We are currently investigating reports of individuals suspecting that their drinks have been spiked.
‘Linked to this a small number of victims have said that they may have felt a scratching sensation as if someone may have spiked them physically. Consequently, we are actively investigating all these reports.
‘We have a dedicated group of officers currently carrying out CCTV enquires at various venues where we have received such reports.
‘Our enquiries into these incidents are ongoing but we understand people may be concerned about incidents like this and want to reassure the public we are working incredibly hard to investigate.’
The statement continued: ‘What we need is that if any person experiences such an incident whilst on a night out that they or their friends make contact with us immediately in order that we can investigate at the earliest opportunity and secure evidence quickly.’
What do the experts say on reports of injection spiking?
Is it possible?
Yes – and there are credible reports where people have woken up with needle marks having been spiked.
But the likelihood of it being a widespread phenomena is ‘deeply improbable’, according to one medical consultant.
David Caldicott, an emergency medicine consultant and founder of drug testing project WEDINOS, told VICE News: ‘The technical and medical knowledge required to perform this would make this deeply improbable.
‘It’s really hard to stick a needle in someone without them noticing, especially if you have to keep the needle in there for long enough, maybe 20 seconds, to inject enough drugs to cause this.’
Could someone not give the injection really fast?
Yes – but they’d need a very powerful drug to do so discreetly, experts say.
GHB is one of the most well-known ‘date rape’ drug and is also self-administered in small doses by people recreationally.
But Guy Jones, senior scientist at drugs charity the Loop, told VICE it would be a ‘poor candidate’ for injection because of the large amounts of fluid needed.
‘Therefore (it would require) a thick, painful needle. This means that the substance involved would be something that would be highly detectable for several days in a toxicology screening,’ he said.
Adam Winstock, director of the Global Drug Survey, added: ‘There are very few easily accessible drugs / medicines that could be given intramuscular in a small enough volume that people would not notice and the effects would take some time to come on.
‘What you see in the movies is not reality. People need to keep their drinks close to them, avoid taking them from strangers and keep an eye out for their mates.’
Can drugs be administered to any part of the body?
Yes – but some parts are more effective than others
Mr Jones told VICE: ‘Where drugs can be injected non-intravenously, there are specific injection sites that do not work well.
‘The back is one of these unsuitable sites due to the low fat-muscle content, and high concentration of pain receptors.’
What about drink spiking?
While injection spiking is still possible, drink spiking is a lot more common.
Incidents of drink spiking in the UK increased by 108 per cent between 2015 and 2018, with 179 incidents taking place in 2017 alone.
This is only the officially recorded numbers – and is likely to be much higher as it is common for people not to report it to police.
Charity Drinkaware advise: ‘Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know and if they’re available, use drink stoppers, which can be purchased online, for the top of your bottle.’
Rohypnol (or Roofie) and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) are the most commonly known ‘date-rape’ drugs.
Recreational drugs like Ecstasy, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Ketamine and other ‘party-drugs’ are sometimes used to spike alcoholic drinks.