No evidence of any spiking by injection has been found by detectives investigating a wave of reports in Aberdeen and elsewhere across Scotland.
The revelation came at a meeting of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), which heard a “significant increase” in cases being reported “came about as a result of media and social media attention” towards the end of last year.
Detective Superintendent Laura McLuckie told the panel: “This was an issue that kicked off round about Freshers week back in September/October time.
“We’re only now starting to see the outcome of the forensic results, and I’m pleased to say that we’re not seeing any drugs within people’s systems that we would class as being a drug that would be used in spiking.
‘There is clearly alcohol involved’
“There is clearly alcohol involved. There is clearly recreational drug use involved.
“However we don’t have any identified cases of any spiking by injection in Scotland at this time.”
Concern grew nationwide after rising cases of people claiming to have been drugged by injection during nights out in the Granite City, Edinburgh, Dundee, and Glasgow.
It led to more than 174,000 people signing an online petition to pressure nightclubs into searching revellers for harmful materials before being allowed into nighttime venues.
Although the widespread support meant the proposal was debated by MPs at Westminster, the UK Government responded and said: “The law already allows licensing authorities to impose conditions such as searches.
“Decisions on this should be made locally, taking account of circumstances, and there are no plans to change the law.”
Det Supt McLuckie assured the SPA that the police would “continue to monitor” the situation in the coming weeks and months.
She said: “I’m pleased to say that it’s on a significant downward trajectory in terms of actually what we’re seeing.
“In the last week, the 10th of January to the 16th of January we had no crimes submitted.
People not feeling safe
“I appreciate that through the pandemic there have been restrictions on nightclubs in the previous few weeks, but prior to that, back on the 20th of December, we had 10 recorded, and between the following couple of weeks it was down at three.
“Whilst that is on a downward trajectory, it doesn’t negate the fact that people are perhaps not feeling safe when they’re out in public places and are concerned.”
Police Scotland are working with other emergency services, student bodies and their universities and colleges to help raise awareness of spiking and where people affected can go for help.
Night out without fear
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “We continue to investigate reports from people having been ‘spiked’ either with a needle or in their drink.
“We are not always able to determine the reasons why a perpetrator carries out an assault in this way.
“Every report is and will be taken seriously and fully investigated and that will include a full forensic investigation when appropriate.”
“People, should be able to go out for a night out without fear of being spiked.
“We are working with a range of partners, both locally and nationally, to ensure licensed premises are safe spaces for all.”