An investigation has been opened into alleged incidents involving young women being spiked through an injection in nightclubs in Nantes after several victims went to the police.
“Around ten people, all young women, have reported this type of incident,” happening in various different venues since nightclubs reopened on February 16, Nantes’ public prosecutor Renaud Gaudeul told France Bleu.
“Some young women have experienced dizziness just after having felt a needle prick sensation.”
Laly, a 20-year-old student, said that towards the end of a night out her arm started to hurt and then she developed a migraine for no apparent reason. The next day, she found a bruise on her arm with a red dot in the centre, suggesting that she had been injected with something.
Another student visited her doctor for a blood test after experiencing the same thing, but the substance causing her reaction was no longer in her bloodstream.
“It is really important to get tested quickly in order to know if it is a drug,” she said.
Nantes’ public prosecution service has also called for victims of such incidents to report them as soon as possible so that tests can be carried out.
“Blood tests are only useful if done very quickly, in the 24 hours” after the event, it said. The authorities did manage to take samples from several young women over the weekend.
“We take these things very seriously,” Mr Gaudeul said. “We encourage nightclub customers and staff to be very vigilant.”
A crime already growing more common in the UK
Needle spiking is also a growing phenomenon in the UK, where nearly 1,400 incidents had been reported between September and January, the National Police Chiefs Council has stated.
Of the blood samples which had subsequently been taken, around 30% contained a “controlled drug” such as prescription medication. However, other blood tests revealed the presence of the sedative antihistamine diphenhydramine, a chemical found in magic mushrooms and the ‘date rape’ drug GHB.
Police forces were also aware of 14 follow-up offences such as sexual assault or theft, which were believed to be associated with the spiking incidents.