NTIA express “disappointed” in governments failure to introduce specific spiking offence

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The Home Office has announced the modernisation of law to make it clear that spiking, defined as putting alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink or body without consent, is a crime.

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Organisations such as the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) however has expressed “deep disappointment” that the new measures fall short of making spiking a specific offence. NTIA CEO Michael Kill told Mixmag that “drink spiking is a serious and prevalent issue that poses a threat to the safety and well-being of individuals within our community.”

“The government’s failure to designate spiking as a distinct crime is disheartening and does not reflect the need to address this growing concern.”

Not only does omission of spiking as a specific crime belie the gravity and far-reaching impact of the criminal acitvity, but it also undermines the ability to “gather accurate data and develop targeted strategies to tackle this menace,” stated Kill.

While the NTIA welcomed the Home Office’s initial commitment to modernise spiking laws, this decision has meant that the announcement of new measures falls significantly short of expectations.

Earlier this year, the government had ruled out making spiking a specific offence with Health Office minister Sarah Dines deeming it in “unnecessary” as there are other offences in place that cover spiking “by drink, needle, vape, cigarette, food or any other known form.”

Read this next: Police apologise after needle spiking victim waits five months for test results

Beyond the legal framework, new measures include the training of hundreds more door staff to spot both potential perpetrators and signs that someone has been spiked, investment in testing kits research, intensive operations by the police in key weeks when spiking tends to be prevalent and an online tool rolled out to police forces which makes it easier to report spiking anonymously.

Tibor Heskett is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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