October sees rise in reports of spiking incidents

FORCEWIDE

2 Nov 2021

Over the past month, we have seen a large increase in reports of spiking incidents across our region. October accounted for around 45% of 2021’s reports of spiking. This follows significant media coverage and proactive policing surrounding reports of spiking by injection incidents.

This rise in cases could be explained by improved education surrounding spiking, leading to an increase in people reporting these incidents. We urge anyone that thinks they may have been spiked to come forward as soon as possible and let us know when and where the incident happened.  This can be done on 999 if in the moment or 101 after the fact.

We take all cases of spiking – whether by injection or by slipping something into someone’s drink – incredibly seriously and these crimes can carry lengthy prison sentences. However, it can often be difficult to get justice for those that have been affected.

These despicable crimes are often committed to make a person seriously vulnerable to a variety of motives, including sexual assault or theft. Our officers have been out across the region to provide support and reassurance to members of the public, as well as education to licensees and door staff on how to support their customers.

While the majority of spiking victims are women aged between 17 and 40, most age cohorts have reported spiking incidents, and about a third of victims are men.

Each year, a number of people are charged in relation to spiking incidents in our area, but that number is a fraction of both the number of arrests and the reported cases. Due to the drugs working their way out of the victim’s system within hours, delays in reporting cases can often make it harder to prove exactly what has occurred.

If you think you have been spiked, you should:

  • Tell someone you trust completely
    This should be a close friend, a relative, a medical professional or a police officer. Be wary of accepting help from a stranger and do not go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
  • Report it to the police and get tested as soon as you can
    Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours of being taken, and the date-rape drug GHB leaves the body within 12 hours. It is important to be tested as soon as possible.

Getting tested is incredibly important so that emergency services know what treatment to give to victims of spiking, and also help us prove beyond doubt that a spiking has taken place.

We have been working closely with our partners to provide various means of support to our communities.

As part of Operation Contract, our officers – in both plain clothes and high visibility uniforms – will continue to patrol busy nightlife hotspots. If you have any concerns, please speak to one of our officers.

Our Licensing team has also been working closely with venues and door staff to help them spot the signs of spiking. We have also initiated the trial of drink-spiking kits in Hull venues so that, if you think you have been spiked, you can test your drink immediately and seek appropriate help.

There is also the “Ask for Angela” scheme across most bars and pubs in the UK, whereby if you are concerned about someone’s behaviour, you can approach staff and “ask for Angela”. You will then be taken by the staff member to a place of safety.

Please also do not be afraid to seek the help of medical professionals or ‘Street Angels’.

Safety tips about spiking can be found on the Talk to Frank website.