The Home Affairs Committee has launched a Parliamentary inquiry into the prevalence of spiking and the efficacy of the police response in the UK.
The Committee is currently at the early stages of the inquiry, and is seeking written submissions and survey responses about people’s experiences to use as evidence in its investigation.
The inquiry has been set up to take a close look at instances of spiking, and its prevalance, in nightclubs and bars, as well as at festivals, private home parties and other social events. The investigation will form part of the Home Affairs Committee’s ongoing, wider work on violence against women and girls.
It will aim to find out about the various forms of spiking happening in society, the effects this can have on victims, the frequency of which it is happening, and how police, as well as people in the nightlife industry and at universities, are tackling the problem. The Committee also says it will look into what resources are available to victims who want to report instances of spiking or seek therapy after it happens.
In a statement, Tim Loughton MP, Acting Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, said: “Spiking is a particularly pernicious act. It is specifically intended to make victims vulnerable and leave them unaware of what is happening to them. It relies on deception, with victims only realising what has happened later and left doubting themselves due to the uncertainty that being spiked causes.
“At present, the prevalence of spiking is poorly understood. That is why as part of this inquiry we have launched a survey to hear directly from victims about what happened to them and how they were supported. We also want to hear from those who have witnessed spiking incidents and have experience in supporting victims so we can understand their perspectives.
“We want to understand what more can be done to stamp this out, but also how victims can be better supported in reporting these incidents and dealing with the long-term consequences on them. We also want to see how police can work with partners in the entertainment sector and other areas to identify more effectively when such incidents take place.”
Read more about the inquiry, and find out how you can contribute to the responses, here.
While spiking has long been a problem in the UK, reports recently of people believing they have been spiked with a needle has led to renewed attention around the issue.
A petition was launched in October, calling on the UK Government to do more to review UK spiking laws and education around the subject.