Friday Brief: ‘Big Night In’ protest will see boycott of Northampton clubs 

Plus some news in brief, our independent of the week and some things to do this weekend

By Bea Maynard

People in Northampton are being asked to boycott nightclubs next Wednesday as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of drink spiking.

Concerns have been growing in recent months with Northamptonshire Police receiving 23 reports of suspected drink spiking incidents since September. 

Lucy Cox, 20, was spiked on a night out in Northampton with her friend. She was only at the second bar of the evening when she suddenly couldn’t keep herself up. It made her violently ill. She couldn’t remember anything else from that night and even the morning after is slightly blurred. 

“I am so scared to drink too much. I now rarely drink at the club. If I do, it must be from a bottle, and I must watch them open it. I can’t explain how scared it made me. I feel so vulnerable” she said.

“I have never felt so ill in my entire life. I couldn’t even drink water the next day. Some people would hear the story when I tell them and just think I’d had too much to drink. But I’d only had two and I have never been like that after only two before”.

An Instagram page dedicated to next week’s event has almost 400 followers and is growing rapidly. 

The owner of the page, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “We are doing this to show they must take this seriously. Club owners don’t seem to be as concerned as we are, and we don’t understand how that is possible.” 

“It is so extremely important that we do this. It’s vital that we improve safety and procedures to limit harm to vulnerable victims.

“We hope that if they notice a severe lack of people next Wednesday, they will actually listen.”

The campaign is hoping to get all bars and clubs to increase security, provide drink protection, provide medical training for staff and install proper procedures.

Although some venues have started to take action, many have not. NB’s and Element, both situated in the centre of Northampton, have ‘StopTopps’. These are placed over a glass, like a foil, and a straw can be pierced through it. There is also the same measure for bottled drinks.

Nationally, there have also been concerns about people being spiked by a needle, however Northamptonshire Police told NN Journal they had not received any reports of that here.

This story was written for NN Journal by Bea Maynard, a journalism student at The University of Northampton 

News in brief

  • West Northamptonshire Council is considering whether to bid for city status for Northampton. The authority says it will be working with partners to develop a draft bid and has asked local people to submit some of their favourite photos of the town to potentially be included.

    A final decision on whether or not to proceed with the bid will be made at a council   meeting on December 2.  

  • Councillors were surprised during an online briefing on the city bid last week when former leader Iain McCord changed his Zoom profile picture to an image with the words ‘bullshit remover’ on it. 

    The former councillor who was suspended from the Conservative party earlier this year is now an independent. 

    The local authority told NN Journal it is unlikely to take action against Cllr McCord unless they receive any direct complaints.

  • A 13 year-old boy was threatened with a knife during a robbery in Rushden this week. The boy was playing baseball when he was approached by two older teenagers and one held a knife to his neck and told him to hand over his bat. Police say he was shocked but not hurt in the incident. 

Independent of the week

🕮 Magazine Heaven 

Based in Rushden Lakes, Magazine Heaven stocks not only a huge variety of magazines but a good selection of books as well. It’s the type of place you can easily spend an hour or so browsing.

The shop, which was named PPA magazine retailer of the year, also has a very popular artisan coffee shop upstairs. As their website says ‘read, relax, refresh.’

NN Culture 

😱 The ‘spooktacular’ Halloween trail at Stanwick Lakes ends on Sunday. The family fun event costs £2.25 per child and includes a prize at the end.

🎮 It’s the grand opening of Geek Retreat in Daventry on Saturday. Head to 31 High Street for a Cosplay competition, Dungeons and Dragons character creation, games and food

🎵 There are limited tickets still available for Shrek the Musical at the Royal and Derngate this weekend.

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