Notts student says she was ‘spiked with an injection’ at Pryzm nightclub on night out
‘I have a huge blank from midnight onwards’
A University of Nottingham student has claimed she was spiked by an injection whilst at the Nottingham branch of Pryzm.
Zara Owen, first year French and Spanish, told The Tab Notts how she attended the club on Monday 11th October with friends but does not remember anything past entering the venue and getting a drink at the bar.
Upon waking up the following morning with no recollection of the night before, Zara noticed a pain in her leg and on further inspection found the site of which she believes a needle puncture, leading Zara to believe she was spiked.
Zara told The Tab Notts: “Nothing was different about the lead up to the night, I had the same drink I would normally have before I go out and didn’t drink much on the night itself.
“Memory loss never comes to me when I’ve had alcohol and I didn’t drink a lot at all for it to be my own fault. I have a huge blank from maybe midnight onwards.”
Zara got separated from her friends and from what she can tell spent the night alone, telling The Tab Notts: “I somehow wandered into the chicken shop alone, which I never do, and my housemate was there, she had no idea [what happened] because she was at another event to me.”
Zara expressed concerns to The Tab Notts that the alleged culprit had managed not only to get the needle through a security search but past the club’s metal detector also, saying: “upon entry to the club I was instructed to empty my pockets as I walked through the metal detectors, my friend, as she had a bag with her, had that searched too.
“The metal detector not picking up a needle is terrifying. There could’ve easily been more cases that night and other nights if it didn’t get detected which is why more action should be taken in other clubs”.
The following day Zara went to A&E but after a wait of over eight hours went home without being seen. Zara told The Tab Notts that she has now booked an appointment with her GP but expressed concern that any substance may have left her system by then.
“I feel very scared, especially about my health and if it was a dirty needle I could be carrying these diseases which is a massive worry.
“Knowing that other women, and men, are too at risk of this is horrifying. It’s something that needs to be cracked down upon and dealt with asap to prevent further cases happening” said Zara.
Pryzm Nottingham told The Tab Notts the measures the club already has in place to combat spiking, including full training for all staff members including what to look out for and what to do if someone has been spiked, their ‘We Care’ policy and the implementation of the Ask Angela scheme, extensive CCTV covering the whole venue and body cams and finally, searches upon entering the venue including metal detectors.
The spokesperson for Pryzm Nottingham also said that there is always a fully qualified medic on site and that they would never ever ask anyone to leave the club on their own, and if needs be the security staff can either call a taxi for you or contact a friend or family member.
Pryzm Nottingham also revealed to The Tab Notts they will soon be providing anti-spiking bottle stoppers and protective drink covers as well as drink testing kits available at each bar.
A spokesperson for Pryzm told The Tab Notts: “We are aware that at the moment there is a lot of concern regarding drink spiking – both locally and nationally – and in particular to an alleged incident that is being widely reported and names our venue. It is worth noting we have not had any contact from the police regarding this allegation. We do have metal detector arches and thorough searching in place, so would expect any needles to be picked up at entry.
“We feel passionately that everyone should feel safe on a night out, and they should feel safe in our club. We work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment so that all our customers can enjoy a fun night out and we will do everything we can to make sure that this stays the case.
“While these incidents are incredibly rare even one spiking is too many.
“We would encourage anyone who sees suspicious behaviour, or suspects they have been a victim of spiking to tell us straight away – either by alerting security, telling a manager or a member of staff. We would also encourage them to contact the police, so that any allegation can be properly investigated and we will support them to do this. Anyone who is suspected of spiking will be detained and handed over to the police.
“If you have any other ideas of things we can be doing then please let us know as we want to make sure that we continue to provide a safe environment for our customers to have a great night out.”
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police told the Nottingham Post “We are currently investigating reports of individuals suspecting that their drinks have been spiked. Linked to this a small number of victims have said that they may have felt a scratching sensation as if someone may have spiked them physically. Consequently, we are actively investigating all these reports.
“We are treating all of these incidents very seriously and are working with licensed premises and our partner agencies including the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham City Council and East Midlands Ambulance Service in undertaking thorough investigations.
“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.