As students returned to dance floors across the country with pandemic restrictions easing, stories of alleged incidents of club goers being spiked, including by injection in night clubs in Edinburgh, have started to emerge.
Students have been using various instagram accounts such as @edi_anonymous or @girlsnightinedinburgh to report their stories of spiking.
Students have reported experiencing symptoms of sudden drowsiness, nausea, or a bump in their back from spiking by injection.
According to a survey carried out by the @edi_anonymous instagram page, 25 percent of respondents reported being spiked in the Edinburgh WHYNOT nightclub, while other responses reflected incidents of alleged spiking in ATIK, Bourbon, Garibaldi’s, Hive, Sneaky Pete’s, Please Don’t Tell, Subway, Shanghai, Bongo’s, Liquid Rooms, Three Sisters, Stramash, CC Blooms, Café Habana, Revolution, Alexander Graham Bell Witherspoon’s, and even the University of Edinburgh’s student accommodation Salisbury Court.
In response to the evolving situation, a nightclub boycott led by the instagram account @girlsnightinedinburgh are calling on people of all genders to not attend nightclubs on Thursday 28 October.
The objective, according to the instagram page, is to demonstrate to Edinburgh nightclubs that students “are NOT comfortable going out in Edinburgh as long as nightclubs are enabling spiking.”
The statement continues:
“We deserve to have FUN on our nights out. It’s not fair that our club experiences are being tainted by the fear, worry and anxiety that we’re going to be drugged.”
In the light of this organised boycott of Edinburgh nightclubs, University of Edinburgh societies are purposefully avoiding doing any bar socials on the 28 October so that students can take part in the boycott.
Speaking to The Student about the boycott, a University of Edinburgh student said:
“My flatmates and many of my friends are all taking part in the boycott.
“The boycott is an essential statement for us to make. It’s a way of saying enough is enough.
“I am scared all the time when I walk into a club. And it’s not just clubs, people have been getting spiked on campus, in accommodations and in so many different settings. The boycott is just asking to prioritise people’s safety which is not asking for a lot.”
Another student told The Student that they believe the effectiveness of this boycott will be largely dependent on numbers.
It appears that the boycott and the media coverage around this issue is prompting nightclubs to act already.
The manager of Subway Cowgate, a popular nightclub with students in Edinburgh, has said that they will be taking extra measures now by providing lids for every drink and hiring extra floor staff to increase in-person surveillance.
Rascals Thursdays, a popular student night at Bourbon nightclub, have said that they are working to make their club night safer by increasing the number of bouncers at the club and installing more CCTV cameras.
In addition to a petition calling for a legal requirement to thoroughly search guests on entry at nightclubs, the ‘Girls Night In’ movement is spreading across the country.
Other cities such as Leeds, Swansea, Stirling, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Bristol and Brighton will now also participate in the boycott of nightclubs.
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