A MOTHER whose daughter was drugged in Colchester has spoken out after police revealed officers received more than 200 reports of spiking last year.

Essex Police were made aware of 213 potential cases of clubbers being drugged in 2021 an increase on the figures recorded the previous three years.

In 2020, for example, the force received 149 reports of drink spiking, while in 2019 and 2018 the police responded to 190 and 171 calls of drinkers falling ill.

According to the data, published following a Freedom of Information request, 154 of the victims last year were women, while 46 of them were men.

The latest information comes after the Gazette reported how a number of clubbers, including teenage girls, said they had been drugged on nights out in Colchester.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Emma Benjamin, 40, of Shrub End, Colchester, was one of the first to come forward last September after her 18-year-old daughter Shania collapsed in the town centre.

Emma took Shania, who was unresponsive and paralysed, to hospital before she eventually recovered.

Emma said: “I am not shocked by the figures but what does shock me is how low the number actually is.

"I can definitely see the numbers rising, it is getting worse, not better.

“I'm still seeing people being spiked in Colchester and I just do not think enough is being done and we need more awareness out there on spiking and how to stay safe.

“All clubs and bars should offer the stop-tops to customers to give people a choice on keeping their drinks covered.”

Essex Police have now revealed a 20-year-old man who was arrested in connection with a number of reports of drink spiking in Colchester between September and October 2021 wil face no further action.

The force stressed, however, it is still looking into the reports of spiking and taking them seriously.

He said: “Our inquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish any additional and verifiable information which may help with our investigations.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Essex Police have now also vowed to “not shy away from tackling” spiking in the county while stressing incidents of such nature are “thankfully rare”.

The force’s officers have received hundreds of reports of suspected drink spiking in the last 12 months but say they remain determined to keep clubbers safe.

The police suggest volume of reports is down to victims’ increased confidence to flag up such crimes following national conversations around violence towards women.

Essex Police has now urged anyone who believes they may have been targeted by a drink-spiker to seek help immediately and call the emergency services.

A spokesman said: “These sorts of incidents are thankfully rare, but we will not shy away from tackling this issue and will do all we can to make public safety our priority. 

“We encourage anyone who believes they have been spiked to contact us and we will robustly investigate each incident to identify and bring the perpetrator to justice. 

“Our understanding is that victims of this offence may not feel unwell immediately and may not realise that they have been a victim of this crime.

“It is never the fault of a drink spiking victim, and indeed our focus is on catching the perpetrators of this dangerous crime.”

To find out more visit essex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/protect-yourself-from-crime/spiked-drinks-date-rape-drugs/