Detectives are investigating reports that a woman was injected with an unknown substance in Preston over the weekend.Advertisement
Police were called at 4.45pm yesterday (Sunday 24 October) after a woman in her late teens had attended hospital with concerns that she had been injected. The window for that to have happened is between 10.20pm on Saturday and 4.45am yesterday in the city centre.
Officers are also looking into a separate incident where it was reported two women had their drinks spiked in the city on Saturday night (23 October).
Officers were called to Lancaster Road at 11.57pm by the ambulance service. The women, one aged in her 20s and the other in her 30s, were taken to hospital but have both since been discharged.
Detectives are at the early stage of their enquiries and although the two incidents are not being treated as linked at this stage, officers say they are keeping an open mind.
Nobody has been arrested at this time.
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Det Insp George Binns, of Preston CID, said: “We appreciate that there is a great deal of concern surrounding these reports, particularly on the back of what has been reported elsewhere in the country. We take reports like these extremely seriously and are working diligently to get to the bottom of exactly what has happened.
“We are at the early stages of our investigations and we will update the public further as soon as we can. The victims are being supported and I would encourage anybody with information which could assist our enquiries to come forward.
“If you think you have been the victim of this kind of offence, we would encourage you to report it to the police or a member of the bar staff as soon as possible. You will be believed and it will allow us to obtain the strongest possible evidence to secure a conviction.
“Our colleagues in licensing regularly work with local bar and club owners to ensure people have a safe and enjoyable time and that there are mechanisms in place if people need help, including the Ask For Angela initiative. In the wake of these incidents, we are liaising with licensing and local venues around safety.
“There will be increased reassurance patrols in Preston over the coming weekend. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to say speak to an officer.”
In a statement the Chair of Preston’s Pubwatch Group said: “There has been a reported rise of drink spiking incidents across the county. The safety of customers enjoying Preston’s leisure offer is a priority for all of us.
“The city’s licensed premises, police, and BID, will meet this week to ensure robust procudees are in place to prevent these incidents from affecting people on a night out in our city centre.
“Whilst, thankfully, incidences are isolated, they are serious – as a city, we are committed to ensuring those who are out to cause harm are denied entry to all licensed premises and that they are reported to police.
“We continue to ask members of the public to be vigilant, and if they notice any unusual or suspicious behaviour, that they report it immediately to venue security staff and police.”
Anyone with information that could assist enquiries should call 101, quoting log 1108 of October 24, 2021.
For more information on Ask For Angela visit the Lancashire Police website.
For safety advice around spiking, visit the Talk To Frank website.
If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a crime, you can receive free and confidential support from Lancashire Victim Services.
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