Police say ‘no identified cases’ of Scots injected despite rise in reports

Police say there have been “no identified cases” of Scots being injected.

A spike in reports of people claiming to have been stuck with needles at nightclubs across the country prompted an investigation in September and October last year.

But a senior officer who has been leading investigations in Scotland insists police have found no evidence to support the claims north of the border.

Detective Chief Superintendent Laura McLuckie said forensic analysis has so far found no trace of the drugs used for the spiking.

She said the “significant increase in reporting” was a result of “the media and social media (prominence) given to it at the time”.

Speaking at a meeting of the Scottish police authority on Wednesday, Ms McLuckie said: “We are just now starting to see the outcome of the forensic results, and I am pleased to say that we are not seeing any drugs inside the systems of people who we would classify as a drug that would be used and increased.

“Clearly alcohol is involved, clearly recreational drug use is involved, however we do not have any identified cases of increased injection and Scotland at this time.

“Obviously we will continue to monitor that in the coming weeks and months.”

Police Scotland confirmed that they received 51 injection reports in Scotland between January and October last year.

In the same period, there were 69 reports of spiked drinks and 32 cases where the method of drugging was unclear.

People who said they believed they had been the victims of injection needlesticks spoke of “puncture marks” on their body and a general feeling of discomfort.

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Reports in the UK are now on a “significant downward trajectory”, Ms McLuckie said and, in Scotland, in the last week, there have been no reports of increased injection.

But the officer noted that this could be because Covid rules are in place during the festive period and restrict access to nightclubs.

Katy MacLeod of the Scottish Drugs Forum pointed out the potential challenges of collecting evidence in relation to injection.

She said: “It is important to highlight that one of the effects of traumatic incidents on the brain is that they can affect our ability to archive memories, which can create significant challenges for people who report and collect evidence.

“It is quite common for people to report incidents several days or more later, which would make detection of substances difficult given that some substances are out of the system within 24 hours.

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“New substances of concern are emerging, so it is important to be alert and respond to any new compounds that may be more easily administered and used in this way.

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“Where new substances emerge, we usually see them in other settings in the community, so access to a variety of drug testing facilities is an important part of identifying any potential new trends.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie, who has been working with Ms McLuckie, said officers are continuing to investigate reports where people claim to have been drugged, either in their drink or by injection. .

“Each report is and will be taken seriously and fully investigated and that will include a full forensic investigation where appropriate,” he said.

“People should be able to go out at night without fear of being prodded.”

The sharp rise in spike reports, which occurred predominantly during college freshmen week, according to Ms McLuckie, sparked protests across the UK.

A petition calling for nightclubs to search people upon entering gathered 174,000 signatures.

Instagram pages were also created to spread the news of the Girls Night In campaign, where women from various college towns stayed, “spreading awareness and challenging clubs” to keep people safe.

A Scottish Government spokesman said “the act of spiking is absolutely abhorrent” and ministers remained committed to working with partner agencies to tackle all forms of violence against women.

“We note the work of Police Scotland in this area and it is encouraging that forensic analysis has so far found no trace of drugs used for spiking in the reported cases,” the spokesman said.

“However, we will continue to work with partners to strengthen our response to this issue and ensure that women who are out in the night economy feel safe and are supported to report, if something happens, to police officers and night industry staff. and continue to implement our equally safe strategy.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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