Crowds of people took to the streets across the UK last night (October 27) to protest a rise in spiking cases.
Demonstrations took place in more than 40 university towns and cities which saw students boycott nightclubs.
Cities including Brighton, Bristol and Manchester took part in protests after increasing reports of drink spiking and female clubbers being attacked with needles. Some nightclubs across the UK also closed in solidarity with demonstrators.
Opening the demonstration in Manchester with at least 1,000 people, 21-year-old Lucy Nichols called for “an emergency response to an emergency situation”, according to The Guardian. She said there is a “spiking epidemic” sweeping the UK, adding: “Every single woman here will have a story about them or one of their friends being spiked. Now we can’t even do the age-old trick of covering up our drinks, because they are spiking us with needles now too.”
Signs by protestors read “Pankhurst would be pissed”, “The only injection I want it Pfizer” and “I have never felt safe”.
The campaign was originally called “Girls’ Night In” but replaced “girls” with the name of the relevant area to be more inclusive.
Data released by The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) revealed 56 incidents of spiking by injection were recorded by police in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in September and October, and an additional 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Warehouse Project boss Sacha Lord attended the protests.
“This one is on us: men, lads, boys. That might mean calling out mates for their behaviour or it might mean changing our own behaviour,” Burnham said.
Lord tweeted: “Last night, myself and @AndyBurnhamGM attended the boycott to show support and listen. We will continue to meet and work with the organisers and I’d urge other city regions to do so too. The message is clear. Enough is enough.”