The police officer responsible for drafting Thames Valley Police’s new violence against women and girls strategy has apologized to an alcohol victim who felt compelled to investigate herself about the incident.
Molly Hargreaves, then 19, has raised concerns that she was pricked with a needle at a party in Abingdon celebrate Halloween last year.
Describing the police response as “disappointing”, she said she was told by officers that they were not going to check all the CCTV cameras at the scene because the time frame she gave them might be wrong.
“They said if there was another new case they would reopen mine. I feel like I have to be the person to investigate and I have to find the CCTV and the person,” she told the Oxford Mail.
“It’s so disappointing, it feels like the police will only care if something bad happens after someone has been injected or doped.
“These people could continue to do so and they will suffer no consequences.”
The Mail forwarded Ms Hargreaves’ comments to Ch Supt Katy Barrow-Grint this week as she spoke to the media ahead of the launch of Thames Valley Police’s new violence against women and girls strategy .
The senior officer said: ‘I would like to say sorry to this lady if she feels she has not had the service she should have had and to come back and talk to us or speak to me individually about her concerns because that I would be very happy to talk to him.
Ms Barrow-Grint said drink doping was a “significant concern” for police, with meetings on the issue taking place nationwide.
She stressed that the force takes cutting-edge reports seriously and referred to Project Vigilant – which sees officers working with nightclubs and pubs to promote safety, as well as undercover night patrols to detect predatory behavior potential.
She said: “We are working closely with pubs, bars and venues to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep the premises safe.”
Asked on Tuesday, she was unable to say whether anyone had been arrested in Oxfordshire in the past six months on suspicion of drinking.
Last year, an investigation by this newspaper revealed that there had been nearly 20 doping incidents reported to the police in a 12-month period between 2020 and 2021.
A keyword search by police suggested none involved doping with a needle – all linked to adulterated drinks.
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