An awareness campaign warning about the possible spiking of women and others with drugs in bars and nightclubs is being planned.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said he had met the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to hear its concerns.

As well as the practice of spiking drinks, Mr Harris said there had been quite a few cases reported in the UK of "the more worrying phenomenon" of women and others being spiked with drugs by people using needles.

Describing it as "a major worry", he said the issue was now "very much beginning to take hold here" and that there were "growing and very worrying reports".

Mr Harris said he would be raising the matter in coming days with the Minister for Justice, and that he was very eager to establish an awareness campaign for students in the coming weeks.

Yesterday, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said there had been 120 incidents of drinks being spiked reported to police in Northern Ireland so far this year.

Hundreds of cases gave also been reported in Britain.

Last week, thousands of young people boycotted nightclubs for a "girls' night in" as they protested against a sharp rise in spiking cases.