Highlights

  • Spate of needle attacks at concerts, clubs in Europe cause alarm
  • Over 300 cases in France, after 1,000 complaints in the UK
  • Victims complained of feeling dizzy; getting tested for infections

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Scary needle attacks at concerts, clubs in Europe: 300 cases in France, 1,000 complaints in UK

Needle attacks: Despite hundreds of complaints, the French police have not arrested any suspect, haven't seized any needles, and the motive is also unclear.

Imagine you are at a concert or nightclub, enjoying with your friends. Suddenly, you feel dizzy, develop a headache, and start having hot flashes. Then you realise that there's something on your arm. It's a needle prick. And then, the panic sets in.

This is the harrowing experience hundreds of people in Europe are going through as a spate of needle attacks cause rising panic and worry. The incidents have been occurring in multiple nations - from France to the United Kingdom, and from Belgium to the Netherlands.

The numbers are scary. In France, over 300 complaints have been filed with the police. The UK saw around 1,000 cases in October 2021.

Here's what some victims said.

18-year-old Tomas Laux had gone to a rap concert in Lille, France on May 4. When he came back home, he felt dizzy and had a headache. He also spotted a "strange" skin puncture and bruise on his arm. When he went to the doctor, he was tested for HIV and hepatitis, and the results fortunately came out negative.

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Another victim was Leanne Desnos, also an 18-year-old. She went to a club in Bordeaux, France in April 2022. The next day, she had a fainting episode, felt dizzy and had hot flashes. She found an injection mark on her arm, and after seeing news of the needle attacks, went to a doctor. Her test results are awaited.

Despite hundreds of complaints, the French police have not arrested any suspect, haven't seized any needles, and the motive is also unclear. This is because many victims have complained of feeling groggy, but infection tests have come out negative. None of the victims have complained of being sexually assaulted.

A few people tested positive for the drug GHB which is used by sexual predators to make their victims unconscious. However, doctors believe that the GHB drug must've been ingested via a drink, as a needle would take a long time to drug someone.

With police failing to make headway, the French government is running awareness campaigns to make sure people at clubs and concerts stay alert.

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