Girls' Night In: Thousands boycott nightclubs in protest as spiking cases rise

27 October 2021, 19:17 | Updated: 28 October 2021, 00:08

The campaign is against rising cases of spiking in nightclubs and bars - both in drinks and by injection.
The campaign is against rising cases of spiking in nightclubs and bars - both in drinks and by injection. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Thousands of people across the UK are having a "girls' night in" and boycotting nightclubs amid rising spiking cases.

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Women from various university cities - including Nottingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Bournemouth - will stay in on Wednesday night as part of the Girls' Night In campaign, focused on "spreading awareness and challenging clubs" to keep people safe.

Instagram pages for different areas across the country have been created for the campaign, amassing thousands of followers in the lead up to the event.

It comes after hundreds of cases including drink spiking and injections were reported in recent months.

Read more: Student shares harrowing experience of being 'spiked' with injection

Read more: Police to review scale of drink spiking amid reports of women being injected at nightclubs

A man appeared in court charged with rape on Wednesday, following a complaint from a woman who said her drink had been spiked.

Dale Garlick, 29, of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, was remanded in custody to appear at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court on 1 December, a spokeswoman for Tameside Magistrates' Court said.

Greater Manchester Police said they had received a report in September from a woman who said that, during a night out in Stalybridge days earlier, her drink had been spiked and she had been raped.

Read more: 164 drink and injection spiking incidents across UK in two months

Read more: Police probe multiple reports of 'injection spiking' in Brighton

Meanwhile, detectives are investigating six reports of women being injected while on nights out in Brighton during the past week.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw of Brighton police said the reports were being taken "incredibly seriously" and called for any possible victims of spiking to let police or bar staff know as soon as possible.

It comes as the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said there were 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.

Organisers of the Girls' Night In campaign in Nottingham said on Instagram: "Spiking has become an epidemic. Never before have we heard of so many students waking up with no memory of what had happened the night before.

"This is not getting "black-out drunk", this is getting drugged and is something that can be changed.

"We are asking clubs and bars to increase their entry security. We are asking clubs and bars to provide free drink protection devices (drink divers etc.)

"We are asking clubs and bars to provide a clear and obvious medical centre and a safe way to get home.

"This is not a stay at home message. This is asking our students to protest against the clubs and bars.

"They are not responding to our complaints, so we must make them."

A Government petition to "make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests on entry" has received over 150,000 signatures in recent weeks.