Possible needle spiking at Hague dance festival
A woman may have fallen victim to needle spiking at the dance festival The Hague Outdoor in the Zuiderpark on Saturday. A visitor saw the incident and alerted security. They arrested the suspect and found a needle on him during a search, said Timo Bosman of organizer Hofstad Festivals.
Security handed the suspect, a 31-year-old man with no fixed place of residence, over to the police, who are investigating the case. The police did not confirm whether the suspect had a needle on him but said they were taking the incident “extremely seriously.”
Someone who worked at the festival as a security guard, according to Den Haag FM, wrote on Facebook on Sunday that there were at least five victims. He also posted photos of what he believes to be the suspect and a cop holding up a plastic bag containing a hypodermic needle. The police said they were aware of the post but would not comment further.
Recently, there have been multiple reports of people who say they were stabbed with a needle while going out and may have been injected with drugs. Much is unclear about the needle spiking phenomenon. The police are investigating whether this is what happened at the Hague festival.
According to festival organizer Bosman, the woman herself did not notice the jab and, as far as he knows, did not have any symptoms later. She did file a complaint, he said. The organizer received no other reports. “You hear this more and more,” Bosman said. “But you think: this will not happen to us. We will be even more alert from now on because it is terrible that this is happening.”
In May, six people said they were stabbed with a needle in Kaatsheuvel, with one woman becoming unwell. There were also reports of needle spiking in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Venlo. During a parliamentary debate last month, Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security called on victims to always go to the police.
The police added that people who think they have been drugged should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The Trimbos Institute also recommends collecting a urine sample quickly. Drugs disappear from the body over time, so a quick collection means a greater chance that traces will be found.
Reporting by ANP