A HEREFORD nightclub has said its taking concerns of drink spiking "very seriously".

Play Nightclub Hereford in Blue School Street said there was a "a lot of concern" locally and nationally, and would be increasing the searches on entry to combat it.

Nationally, police have been asked to urgently assess the scale of drink spiking at nightclubs and parties amid a rise in reports and claims some people have been drugged by injection.

Home Secretary Priti Patel asked forces for an update after some said they had seen more spiking incidents in recent months.

Police chiefs have also been tasked by the Commons Home Affairs Committee to urgently provide more information on their assessment of the scale of the problem after reports of incidents in several parts of the country, including Nottingham, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Groups from more than 30 universities around the UK have joined an online campaign calling for the boycott of nightclubs, with campaigners seeking "tangible" changes to make them safer, such as covers/stoppers for drinks, better training for staff and more rigorous searches of clubbers.

A petition launched last week to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests on entry has already gained more than 120,000 signatures.

Play in Hereford said drink spiking was something it takes "very seriously" and it would continue to work closely with local police.

"However, we feel passionately that everyone should feel safe on a night out, and they should feel safe in our club," a spokesperson said.

"We work hard to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment so that all our customers can enjoy a fun night out and we will do everything we can to make sure that this stays the case.

"While these incidents are incredibly rare even one spiking is too many."

Play highlighted the measures it had in place, including staff training, policies to look after revellers, CCTV and body-worn cameras, anti-spiking devices for drinks, medics, and making sure people are able to get home.

"We would encourage anyone who sees suspicious behaviour, or suspects they have been a victim of spiking to tell us straight away – either by alerting security, telling a manager or a member of staff," they added.

"We would also encourage them to contact the police, so that any allegation can be properly investigated and we will support them to do this.

"Anyone who is suspected of spiking will be detained and handed over to the police."

Spiking drinks can lead to up to ten years in prison – or even higher if other offences like rape, robbery or another assault has taken place.

It comes as a University of Nottingham student told how she believes she was spiked with an injection during a night-out with friends.

Zara Owen, 19, from Surrey, said she blacked out soon after arriving at a venue last Monday, telling BBC Breakfast: "I know I didn't drink as much as I usually would on a night-out this night, and the fact that I don't remember anything is terrifying for me because this is something that is a very rare occasion to me.

"I've never suffered with memory loss and then the next morning … I woke up with a really painful leg.

"I found a pin prick in my leg which was the epicentre of all pain. It made me unable to walk and I was limping around.

"As a young person who's at university, I'm hearing stories of people who have been to nightclubs and they have been injected. I have heard stories of someone having it through their hand or through their back, so this kind of gave me an idea this had happened to me."

Nottinghamshire Police said it has seen a rising number of reports of spiking over recent months and has arrested a man as part of a wider operation.