University student 'spiked by needle' in Nottingham welcomes new government plans

Ms Owen, who is studying French and Spanish, suspects she was spiked when she went out with friends in October 2021. Credit: BPM Media

A 19-year-old university student who believes she was spiked by a needle while out in Nottingham has welcomed the government's new plans to help keep students safe.

Zara Owen, who is studying at the University of Nottingham, says she thinks the new working groups dedicated to tackling the number of spiking incident is long overdue.

She told ITV Central: "Spiking is not just happening to university students, it is happening all around.

"But the fact that they are going to, and trying to get something done is amazing."

She added that she thinks it shouldn't take a massive scale of people talking about spiking for change to happen.

Zara tells ITV Central what she thinks of the new plans to keep students safe

Ms Owen, who is studying French and Spanish, went out with friends in October 2021.

She said she entered a nightclub, made her way to the bar, but that's the last thing she can remember before waking up in her bed the next day - despite not having much to drink.

She then woke up with a sharp pain in her leg, and no recollection of what had happened.

She believes she may have been spiked due to her complete memory loss, along with the pain in her leg which she believes may have been from being injected by a needle.

Zara said she noticed a needle pinprick indicating her suspicions that she was spiked. Credit: BPM MEDIA

The new support groups, which have been announced by University Minister Michelle Donelan, will hope to tackle the number of attacks against students.

This forms part of a wider government mission to tackle violent and sexual crimes and strengthen victims’ rights.

Ms Donelan will ask every university to introduce a policy on tackling spiking by the end of the year to ensure victims are recognised and supported.

Last year students across the country took part in a mass boycott of nightclubs following a spate of reported attacks.