Detectives are investigating six reports of women being injected while on nights out in Brighton during the past week, amid nationwide concerns over spiking.
Brighton’s police chief said the reports are being taken “incredibly seriously” and called for any possible victims of spiking to let police or bar staff know as soon as possible.
It comes after the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said there have been 198 confirmed reports of drink spiking in September and October across various parts of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus 24 reports of some form of injection.
Sussex Police detectives say two women reported feeling unwell after going out in the seaside city on October 19.
Four more women reported being injected while out in the city centre over the following days, the force said.
Meanwhile, a woman in Eastbourne also reported being injected while on a night out in the East Sussex town on October 23.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said night-time patrols are being increased and each incident is being “thoroughly investigated”, as well as the series as a whole.
Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, divisional commander for Brighton and Hove, said: “Everybody has the right to enjoy a night out in safety and we fully understand the concerns around these troubling reports, not only in Sussex but across the country.
“Unannounced licensing checks throughout the night provide an additional level of support and if you see our officers out and about, please do speak to them – or licensed security staff – about any concerns or suspicious behaviour.
“Please be assured that we take all reports incredibly seriously and ask anybody who believes they may have been a victim of spiking to let police or bar staff know as soon as possible so they can be tested before potential drugs leave their system and evidence can be gathered.
“Reports can also be made to police online, via 101 or by dialling 999 in an emergency.”
Elsewhere in the UK, an investigation is under way after a woman reported being injected with an unknown substance in Preston at the weekend.
Police were also called to a separate incident in the city on Saturday where two women reported having their drinks spiked, Lancashire Constabulary said.