Young woman couldn’t get help after possible drugging

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A YOUNG woman, who believes she was drugged on a night out, has said she is worried for other people who might find themselves in the same situation, after she was disappointed by a lack of help from the authorities.

Laura Hickson, 23, went out for drinks with her brother in London on Saturday night (February 21) and was bought drinks by a man who she met that day.

She very quickly felt strange and unwell and thought she might have been drugged so her brother got her on a train so she could safely return home.

The next day, wanting to know for sure whether she had been drugged, she called 111 to ask what she should do and she was told to go to A&E to get a blood test.

She said: “At the A&E I was told by a nurse - in a very patronising manner - that it wasn’t an emergency or an accident and so it wasn’t the hospital’s responsibility, she then told me to head to the police station.

“After asking her and being reassured that the police station is always open seven days a week apparently. I went all the way to the police station off of Kingsham Road, which was unfortunately closed.

“There was a yellow phone on the wall by the door, where, in case of the police station being closed, it was possible to call.

“I rang the number and explained the situation to the police officer. He then proceeded to inform me that it was the A&E’s responsibility, after telling him that I had already been there, he told me I should try again.

“My problem with the whole thing was also that A&E said it was the police who were supposed to help me and the police said it was the A&E. In the end there’s nowhere on a Sunday where someone who was drugged on a Saturday night can get tested.”

A spokesperson for the hospital said that the hospital would never administer a blood test simply because a person asked for one as they would have to have a medical reason first.

Sussex Police has said it has no record of the call so cannot provide any account of what the conversation may actually have been.

The spokesperson said: “It is correct that police do not provide a facility for blood tests in such circumstances, but our normal response to such calls is to ask questions such as; ‘Why do they think their drink has been spiked? What were the effects? When do they think it occurred? Do they know who did it? Has anything happened as a result of the drink being spiked?’

“Depending upon the answers we would advise them to seek medical attention. From a police perspective we would also seek to know if the caller can say who an offender may have been, and why it is felt that the drink was interfered with.

“However, we wouild ask the woman concerned in this matter to contact us either via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, explaining what has happened, giving full details, and asking for the matter to be recorded as an allegation of crime.

“We would then transfer it to the Metropolitan Police for investigation as that is where the alleged offence would have occurred. She can of course alternatively call the Metropolitan Police direct via 101.”