Drink spiking: Latest stats and what we're doing to keep you safe
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We recognise that drink spiking is a big concern for communities and we’ve been working really hard to develop our understanding of spiking in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.
Nationally, we started to see an increase in drink spiking and needle spiking reports in October and November 2021 and this is when the reports peaked. Since then, reports have decreased throughout the county.
Common spiking symptoms are confusion, lack of coordination, slurred speech, nausea, hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia and unconsciousness. If you think you or a friend has been spiked, tell a member of staff straight away, seek medical attention, report it to the police.
To help us understand reports of spiking, we invested in multi-drug urine test kits which give an immediate reading and help us obtain early evidence.
Between December 18 and January 14, our rapid multi-drug test kits were used 15 times:
In Southampton, we saw six negative test results, three tested positive for amphetamine, cannabis and cocaine.
In Portsmouth, we have used the tests twice so far. One result was negative, one was positive for cocaine and cannabis, and one person who believed they had been spiked with a needle declined the test.
Four other tests in Gosport, the New Forest and Test Valley were all negative.
Multi-drug urine test kit
All of our officers know that our drug tests kits are only to be used to detect drugs used in spiking cases. We will never use them to take action against people who may have taken drugs recreationally. Spiking is a serious crime and the use of recreational drugs does not change that.
We know that spiking of any kind is to make a person vulnerable to a more serious offence, like a sexual assault or robbery.
That’s why we have been working relentlessly with bars and clubs in cities in Hampshire to ensure that all venues are ‘spike aware’ and that staff are able to care for people who are reporting they have been spiked and urging those to call the police if they believe this crime has happened to them.
We’re absolutely clear that we do not tolerate drink spiking at all. Individuals who are going out intending to behave in this way will be found and will be stopped.
If you’re concerned you or a friend have been spiked, call police straight away. Our multidrug testing kits can get the early evidence we need, and can provide valuable reassurance.
Remember: Spiking is against the law. It’s a serious crime with serious consequences.
• People are more aware of spiking than ever before so you’re more likely to be found out. • If you spiked someone to enable sexual activity, you could face 10 years in jail, you may also be placed on the sex offenders register. • A criminal conviction will change your life. You may lose your job, your home, future careers will be affected when you tell them about your past and you may also face restrictions on travel with countries like the USA not giving visas to people with convictions for serious crimes.