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There have been widespread reports in the UK of "needle spiking," where a person, usually a woman, claims to have been jabbed with something in a bar.

This has received increasing attention, including from the police:

Northumbria Police area identified as one of UK's hotspots for needle spiking incidents

But the Home Affairs Committee report on spiking highlights what it calls a "new phenomenon" of needle spiking - where people are secretly injected with a substance - with often debilitating effects.

Though the North East does not feature in the top areas for overall spiking incidents, Northumbria Police was identified as one of several hotspots for the latest needle spiking trend.

Confusingly, this may be conflated with drink spiking, which is more straightforward and could be adding more alcohol or another drug to a drink.

There are numerous photos of apparent injection sites etc., but there seems to be little or no solid evidence in the form of "Ms. X was examined, a puncture wound was found, and there were barbiturates in her blood stream."

What do we know so far about reports of ‘spiking’ with needles?

This Psychology Today article, The British Needle-Spiking Panic, implies it's all mass hysteria:

  • Claims of syringe attacks on British women may be an urban myth.
  • Despite over 1300 'attacks' in the past 6 months, there is yet to be a single confirmed case or conviction.
  • To inject someone with a needle at a nightclub while out with friends - and without anyone realizing -defies credulity.

It seems it is believed to be widespread in every part of Britain by many others:

Is there a good explanation of what is going on?

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  • 1
    Note that the articles that are skeptical or the claims of needle attacks primarily point out that it would be an ineffective means of drugging random strangers. However, it is only necessary for people to be silly enough to think it would work for it to be happening.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 16:10
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    there are a number of questions: is it happening on the sort of scale suggested by the media? And is it even happening at all? If yes, then what are they injecting with? Is there a solid report with forensic evidence to prove one such case?
    – thelawnet
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 17:23
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    I'm not interested in whether it's effective. I want to know whether it is happening or if it is hysteria: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10225259/…
    – thelawnet
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 17:46
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    @thelawnet: I am not sure what evidence would be sufficient. One example you gave confirms that the woman was drugged, but we (only) have her testimony of how she was drugged. Another explicitly name an (alleged) victim/activist who claims to have given police video evidence, but I am not sure if there was a toxicology report. Will it take a conviction to answer the question?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 9:42
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    Worse: We may be able to find examples, but that doesn't rule out hysteria over those examples.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 9:43

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