New data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council has revealed that there were 6,732 reported spiking offences between May 2022 and May 2023 – including 957 needle spiking offences.
Figures show there were an average of 561 reported spiking offences per month during this period, with the policing body stating the data includes modified vapes and food which have been spiked.
Campaigners are warning that the figures are only the tip of the iceberg as many victims do not come forward as they fear not being taken seriously or feel too much shame.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association: “As the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, I want to emphasise the significant efforts that our industry has undertaken to mitigate the risks associated with spiking within night time economy businesses. We have always prioritised the safety and well-being of our patrons, and we take any incidents of spiking very seriously.”
“The recent data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council is deeply concerning. The reported 6,732 spiking offences between May 2022 and May 2023, including 957 needle spiking offences, highlight a troubling trend that we must address urgently. It is especially disheartening to learn that these figures may only scratch the surface, as many victims remain silent due to fears of not being taken seriously or the stigma attached to such incidents.”
“Freshers’ week at universities is a particularly vulnerable period, as new students explore the night time economy. It is crucial that we create a safe environment for them, and we must redouble our efforts to ensure their protection. Moreover, the emergence of spiking involving modified vapes is a stark reminder of the evolving nature of this threat. We must adapt our security measures to encompass these new challenges effectively.”
“While we acknowledge the steps taken by some venues and universities to address this issue, it is clear that there is still much work to be done. The responsibility for preventing spiking extends beyond our industry, encompassing the Police, medical services, and the wider community. We must work collaboratively to protect the well-being of all those who engage with our night time economy.”
“This issue extends beyond nightclubs and bars, as the incidents of spiking in house parties and halls of residence parties also pose significant challenges. These environments often lack the necessary provisions to manage and prevent such occurrences.”
“As we move forward, we call on the relevant authorities to prioritise this pressing societal issue. We need comprehensive strategies that not only include rapid testing, dedicated welfare and active bystander staff, safe spaces at venues, and drink-testing kits but also address the broader cultural and educational aspects of this problem.”
“In partnership with the Police, universities, and advocacy organisations, we must collectively work towards creating a safer night time economy for everyone. Spiking is a crime that affects victims deeply, with long-lasting consequences for their mental health and well-being. We cannot afford to underestimate the impact of this crime on individuals and society as a whole.”
“We echo the call from David Sidwick and Joy Allen of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, urging university students to be vigilant and look out for their friends during this freshers’ term. Together, we can make a difference and create a safer and more inclusive night time economy for all.”