Three men have been arrested over suspicions of spiking drinks or using injections, as police revealed more than 160 people have reported claims to them in two months.
Two teenagers – aged 18 and 19 – were arrested by Nottinghamshire Police on suspicion of conspiring to administer poison with intent to injure, annoy or aggrieve.
And Lincolnshire Police said they had arrested a 35-year-old man at 3am on Friday in connection with an attempted drink-spiking at a nightclub in Lincoln.
Hundreds of cases of injection and drink-spiking have been reported to police forces across the UK, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
It revealed that forces have received 24 reports of some form of injection this month and last, and 140 confirmed reports of drink-spiking.
The term injection-spiking means someone unknowingly being injected with drugs through a needle, usually in a nightclub or pub.
The council said the “concerning number” included both men and women, though most cases featured young women.
Young women are planning to boycott city nightclubs next week in protest at the phenomenon.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for drugs, Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, said alleged offences had taken place at licensed premises and private parties.
“Clearly these reports are very concerning,” he said. “We are working at pace with forces, law-enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency 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.”
Nottinghamshire Police said the two men being questioned in custody were arrested after the force received information from a member of the public following a general appeal for help from a senior officer.
The arrests are not linked to a specific allegation of spiking.
Lincolnshire Police said the suspected offence for which a man was arrested did not involve a needle.
Mr Harwin said: “Ahead of the weekend, and looking further to the Halloween weekend, please be assured that forces are working closer than ever before with pubs and clubs to help tackle the issue and encouraging premises to increase searches at entry points to the venues.
“Police are also working with venues to make sure all staff are alert to the issue and to advise them of what to do if they see signs of spiking.
“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim or witness to spiking, in any form, to contact their local police force. Any reports of spiking will be investigated and taken seriously.”
Lincolnshire 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.”