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Student ‘spiked by needle’ at nightclub after waking up to ‘sharp pain in leg’

A university student has claimed that she was spiked by a needle while out at a club, saying that she had a sharp pain in her leg the next day and "no memory of the night at all".

Zara Owen, 19, who is studying French and Spanish at the University of Nottingham, was out with friends on Monday, October 11, before the incident is said to have taken place.

The student, who is originally from Surrey, said she entered Pryzm nightclub in Nottingham and made her way up to the bar, however, that is the last thing she can remember before waking up in her bed the next day, NottinghamshireLive reports.

The latest in a string of reports of such incidents has caused widespread concern, and Labour MP for Nottingham East Nadia Whittome said she is in discussions with a charity about the matter.

"I'm aware of extremely concerning reports of suspected spiking in Nottingham nightclubs, including by injection, and am in discussion with Nottingham Women's Centre," she tweeted.

Zara's ordeal follows several other reports of suspected spiking in clubs, with two in Nottingham establishment Stealth.

Stealth said it had also received reports of two women feeling unwell, who suspected they may have been spiked when Nottinghamshire Live contacted them for a comment about Zara's experience.

It said it is working with police who are investigating the incident.

The problem is not exclusive to Nottingham. After reports of similar incidents in Edinburgh, former Napier University student Hannah Thomson started a petition for the government to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests on entry.

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It has nearly 87,500 signatures and will be considered for debate in parliament if and when it reaches 100,000.

“How are we even getting needles into nightclubs like how is that happening? How are we allowing that to happen? Then I started thinking we get searched going into gigs and festivals so, why not nightclubs?” she said.

Explaining her own ordeal, Zara said: "I always go anywhere in a nightclub with someone, whether that is to the bar, to the toilet – anything. When you go into Pryzm, you go through a metal detector – so for someone to get a needle in there is unbelievable.

"It's very scary that something like this can happen."

Zara was wearing jeans on the night out which means any needle would have had to have gone through denim and into her leg. She has since reported the incident to Nottinghamshire Police.

Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said that reports of both drink spiking and needle spiking are being investigated.

"We have a dedicated group of officers currently carrying out CCTV enquires at various venues where we have received such reports.

"Our enquiries into these incidents are ongoing but we understand people may be concerned about incidents like this and want to reassure the public we are working incredibly hard to investigate.

"We have recently arrested and conditionally bailed a local male as part of our investigations which continue."

In a statement, a spokesperson for Pryzm Nottingham said they "encourage them [victims] to contact police, so that any allegation can be properly investigated".

A spokesperson for Stealth said the club is "currently liaising with Police to aid in their investigations".

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