Warning after surge in drink spiking in Northampton

  • Watch Graham Stothard's report for ITV News Anglia

A special police operation has been launched to tackle the worrying surge in drink spiking in Northampton.

Nearly 30 people have reported being drugged in the town since the beginning of September. 

None of the victims have reported being robbed or sexually assaulted, but police have launched Operation Kalon and increased patrols in response.

Det Supt Emma James from Northamptonshire Police said: "There have been 27 reported to us where victims believe that they've had their drink spiked in Northampton town and there's no pattern in offending or pattern in the investigations as such.

"It's happened in a number of pubs and clubs across Northampton Town. There's been females and males who've been involved. 25 percent of all victims are actually males, and they age generally between 17 to 20 years old."

Northampton University's Students' Union is providing anti-spiking devices. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton University's Student Union run some events out of the town's Element Bar and Club. They've started providing anti-spiking devices to anyone that wants one.

Zoe Boyer, from Northampton Students' Union, said: "We're trying to empower students to know how they can be as safe as they possibly can while enjoying the night life.

"We're aware that a lot of students like me are quite new to night's out, considering the club scene has been shut for the last 18 months. So we're trying to allow students to have fun and stay safe."

The Spread Eagle pub is doing more to keep female customers safe on a night out. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The owner of the Spread Eagle on Wellingborough Road is trying to get her pub known for being a female safe venue.

Maria Carr, Owner of The Spread Eagle, said: "We are doing what people should do to be kind and take responsibility for our customers.

"We don't want ladies leaving the venue late at night on their own, they might be intoxicated, leaving with men they don't know or people they've just met.

"We'll put them in taxis. We will ring parents, friends, and try and reunite people that have been separated. It's really just monitoring and making sure that when women leave, they're leaving safely.

"I think venue owners need to start taking more responsibility for customers inside their venues and recognizing when there's distress, when there's an issue."