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Drinkers Warned After 12 People Victim To Suspected Spikings In Essex

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Drinkers Warned After 12 People Victim To Suspected Spikings In Essex

Drinkers are being warned against leaving their drinks unprotected after a spate of suspected spikings in Essex.

It has been reported that 12 people have so far fallen violently ill unexpectedly and collapsed whilst out drinking in Colchester.

Additionally, an 18-year-old was left temporarily 'paralysed' after another suspected spiking.

Pubs, clubs, and bars in the area are considering bringing in lids for drinks as well as introducing searches for dangerous sedatives after the suspected attacks.

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Friends of Emma Benjamin said that they watched her 'change in seconds' whilst on a night out in nearby Brentwood last month.

Emma Benjamin was one of the people spiked. Credit: East News Press Agency
Emma Benjamin was one of the people spiked. Credit: East News Press Agency

Upon her arrival at the hospital, staff told her mother that she was just really drunk, but then they were visited by the police the following morning after two similar cases were discovered.

Emma's mum, 39-year-old Shania, said: "The officers were the ones who said to me it looked like Shania was spiked, so something needs to be done to protect these girls.

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"I never ever want to see anyone go through what Shania did and my heart goes out to the other girls too and their parents.

"Anyone who suspects a spiking need to report it to police even if you are not 100% sure.

"If more people come forward, there's more chance of investigating it."

Shania added that her daughter hasn't been out since and she's worried that the incident - and subsequent trauma - is 'affecting her life'.

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She continued: "Girls, boys and men, everyone needs to stay on your guard. If you are going out, always have someone with you or watch your drink."

Essex Police have confirmed that they are investigating at least 12 cases that have taken place over the past eight weeks.

On behalf of the force, Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston said: "If you narrow it down four of these reported spikings were one incident.

"It does appear that someone randomly went around spiking people's drinks."

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Remember to watch your drinks. Credit: PA
Remember to watch your drinks. Credit: PA

"Not only did we combine all of those investigations under one officer so we can identify patterns and trends, we've got a really strong partnership here in Colchester.

"It's all about trawling through the hours of CCTV and looking at all the people that were round that group and narrowing it down.

"I'll admit it's really difficult - it's hundreds of hours of work looking at dark, grainy CCTV at night where lots of people look very similar. If we do find somebody, we will prosecute.

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He did reserve praise for the venues in the area for 'doing their best' to prevent more attacks like these happening on their premises.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Police, UK News, Drink, crime, Alcohol

Tom Wood
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