THE number of people claiming their drinks have been spiked has "gone through the roof", Falmouth town councillors have been told.

Answering questions about the town's night time economy, PC Matt Cummins told a meeting of Falmouth Town Council on Monday night that the number of people claiming they had been drugged had soared.

"Because I'm on the neighbourhood team the night time economy is a necessary priority for me, it is for the police in Falmouth," he said.

"There are lots of issues more incidents, possibly if there are less police officers then it is going to seem busier.

"Bread and butter for the night time economy might be assault, sexual assault, spiking. Spiking seems, well the reporting levels, reporting levels only and I can only over empathise reporting levels not found levels but reporting levels, of spiking have gone through the roof."

He said he had worked on New Year's Eve until 5am in the morning.

"I thought it was relatively quiet until about two o clock but then at ten past two that quiet was a distant memory, we didn't stop then until five," he said.

"It was busy, but I have to go and crunch the data to find the true figure, to say whether it's busier or not would be anecdotal for me."

The news comes as a woman from Cornwall was one of three people who told the Commons Home Affairs Committee how they suffered memory blanks, lost control of their bodies and were “violently ill” after they were targeted in bars and clubs.

Hannah Stratton, from Newquay, told the committee how her drink was drugged while she was having a few glasses of wine with two friends in a quiet bar.

The 51-year-old said she had to put her head on the bar table as she could not hold her upper body up and her legs felt like lead.

Her friends helped her into a taxi home, but she said the driver judged her for being drunk and she felt the whole experience was “degrading”.

Ms Stratton said: “You just feel so disgusted in yourself – and that may make sense to the other victims here.

“And it sounds really silly – a number of people that have said me: ‘No, no, no, don’t blame yourself, why are you feeling disgusted in yourself?’ But you do.

“It takes quite a while to actually switch that around and realise that actually, I’ve got no self-blame or I shouldn’t be blaming myself, but that’s why I didn’t report it.”

She said she has battled feelings of self-doubt over whether she had had drunk too much, but added: “I’m 51 years old. I’ve never behaved like that in my life, and I’m not going to behave like it after a couple of glasses of wine.”

Ms Stratton said she had educated her three daughters about the risks but had believed she was “far too old” for it to happen to her,

She said she put up a post online about her experience and was contacted by around a hundred people “of all ages and both sexes” who said it had happened to them.

The committee was holding its first evidence session into spiking on Wednesday.

Ms Stratton said she believes she was drugged “for fun” because the perpetrator would have known there was no way a group of middle-aged women would leave one of their friends alone to be exploited while so vulnerable.

She added: “My daughter, who is in her 20s, will say that now the conversation seems to be not, ‘Has anybody been drugged this weekend?’

“It’s, ‘Who has been trapped this weekend?’

“It’s so commonplace.

“And within their circles, they believe that it’s primarily done for fun, just for the power and control of being able to see somebody so uncomfortable.”

Helena Conibear, chief executive of the Alcohol Education Trust, said surveys suggest between 11% and 15% of females and 6% to 7% of males have been spiked.

The organisation’s own research has found that it also occurs in less obvious places than clubs and bars, such as in fast food outlets and cafes, with the largest proportion occurring at private parties.