In addition to Spain, “Waves of needle pricks at nightclubs and musical events also have confounded authorities in France, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.”
The European press is reporting on disturbing numbers of needle prick assaults on women who are at nightclubs or attending parties.
Across France, more than 300 people have reported being pricked out of the blue with needles at nightclubs or concerts in recent months. Doctors and multiple prosecutors are on the case, but no one knows who’s doing it or why, and whether the victims have been injected with drugs — or indeed any substance at all.
Club owners and police are trying to raise awareness, and a rapper even interrupted his recent show to warn concert-goers about the risk of surprise needle attacks.
It’s not just France: Britain’s government is studying a spate of “needle spiking” there, and police in Belgium and the Netherlands are investigating scattered cases too.
Spain is the latest country to report significant numbers of “needle spiking.”
Police in Spain are investigating about 50 reported cases of women getting pricked with medical needles while at nightclubs or parties, a trend that previously came to the attention of authorities in other European countries.
So far, Spanish police have not confirmed any cases of sexual assault or robbery related to the mysterious jabs. Police said that 23 of the recently reported needle attacks were in northeast Spain’s Catalonia region, which borders France.
Waves of needle pricks at nightclubs and musical events also have confounded authorities in France, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. French police have tallied over 400 reports in recent months, and said the motive of the jabs was unclear. In many cases, it also wasn’t clear if the victims were injected with a substance.
While most of the victims have been women, there have been some men who were pricked. The youngest victim a 13-year-old girl who was with her parents when assaulted.
Spanish police so far have found evidence of drugs in one victim, a 13-year-old girl in the northern city of Gijón who had the party drug ecstasy in her system. Local media reported that the girl was quickly taken to hospital by her parents, who were near her when she felt a prick with something sharp.
In an interview with national public broadcaster TVE that aired Wednesday, Spanish Justice Minister Pilar Llop urged everyone who thinks they received a shot without their consent to go to the police, since being stabbed with a needle “is a serious act of violence against women.”
Spanish health authorities said they were updating their protocols to improve the ability to detect any substances that were possibly injected into victims. The toxicological screening protocols call for blood or urine tests within 12 hours of a suspected attack, Llop said.
The guidelines advise victims to immediately call emergency services and go to a health center as soon as possible.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.