Spiking: the story so far

Spiking: the story so far

Two months on from our focused work on spiking and Police have investigated 253 reports. That’s between 1 October and 28 November.

Not all of these cases happened over that time. The increased news coverage, people talking about it more openly and knowing they will be believed, has resulted in people telling us about crimes that happened as far back as 2018.

Of the 253 reports, 180 were women, 51 were men and 22 did not specify their gender. Victims were aged between 14 and 80 with crimes being recorded in all areas of the West Midlands. The majority of people believe they were spiked in a pub or club. The peak days for reports are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Despite working closely with venues, reviewing CCTV of crime scenes and speaking to witnesses, Police are yet to find any independent evidence that could progress any of our investigations. No syringes have been found at bars either during searches on entry or at the end of the night.

Venues have responded really well to the situation with most now carrying out enhanced ID and security checks, and other safety measures including briefing staff, changing layouts to prevent people putting their drinks down and removing any unattended drinks straight away. Many are also offering free bottle stops, lids for glasses and even drug test strips for people who are really worried.

image: WMP

Officers are having discussions with those places that WMP think could be doing more.

Of the 253 reports, five people said they had their cigarettes spiked, 182 said their drinks had been tampered with, 51 said they were injected and 15 didn’t know how they’d been drugged.

In the majority of cases, spiking was the only crime but robberies, rapes, sexual assaults and other crimes have also been linked to a small number of the reports.

Between 22 and 28 November police received 34 reports of spiking with 20 of them taking place that week. The other 14 were non-recent offences. All of these are included in our total reports.

Our multi drug test kits were used in 11 of last week’s cases.

Nine of the tests were negative, one was positive for cocaine and another was positive for cannabis.

Another person had a negative blood test at hospital. Some people do not want to take a test, even though police never use the tests to take action against people who have used drugs. Some people can’t provide a sample and non-recent reports are not suitable for testing.

If you think you’ve been spiked, get help straight way. Your unique circumstances will determine if you need to get medical help and how urgent that is. You may decide to get medical help before you call us. That’s OK.

If you know that the offender is still at the scene, call us on 999. To report all other spiking concerns, message us via Live Chat on our website west-midlands.police.uk, visit a police station or call us on 101.