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What if someone gave you alcohol, poison or a drug without you knowing anything about it? What if it was someone you didn’t even know?
Spiking your drink leaves you at risk of assault, robbery or rape. And spiking is on the rise, with studies reporting up to 15% of women and 7% of men have had something put into their drink without their knowledge or consent. But the Government is failing to take this growing problem seriously.
Good Law Project has teamed up with The Gemini Project, a non-profit which works to tackle sexual violence, to challenge this failure.
While many of us know someone who has been spiked, there are no official statistics that are routinely published. Recorded crimes of drink spiking increased every year between 2016 and 2019, with more than 1,900 reported in 2019 – the last year for which figures are available. The National Police Chief’s Council told the Home Affairs Committee poor data mean that “the true figure” is “likely to be much higher”. Attacks using needles and vapes are also increasing.
Last year, Parliament said the Government must publish a report on spiking and the steps they were taking to address it. The deadline for this report passed in April, but they have produced nothing.
It’s impossible to solve a problem when you don’t even know how big it is. So we are demanding that the Government publishes the report setting out the nature and prevalence of spiking, as well as the steps they are taking in response which Parliament has required it to do.
We can’t let the current lack of reporting, resources, training and action leave people – particularly young women – at risk.
If you believe spiking must be taken more seriously, and are in a position to help, a donation of any amount would help us fund this challenge and keep everyone safe.
Good Law Project has instructed Good Law Practice, an independent law firm launched in 2022 by Good Law Project. It supports Good Law Project, and its partners, to bring strategic litigation in the public interest. We are raising money to cover our legal costs. Our legal team are acting at significantly reduced rates.
Section 71 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 requires the Government to prepare and publish a report about the nature and prevalence of the act of a person intentionally administering a substance to, or causing a substance to be taken by, another person without their consent with the intention of causing them harm (whether or not it amounts to a criminal offence). The report must include details of any steps the Government has taken or intends to take in relation to spiking. The report had to be laid before Parliament and published by the 28th April 2023 (12 months after the Act was passed). The Government has failed to meet this deadline and as yet no report has been produced.
The Gemini Project have sent the Home Secretary a Pre Action Protocol letter, arguing that the failure to publish the report is a breach of statutory duty and therefore by definition unlawful conduct. Read The Gemini Project’s Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter to the Government here.
10% of the funds raised will be a contribution to the general running costs of Good Law Project. It is our policy only to raise sums that we reasonably anticipate could be spent on the work we are crowdfunding for. However, if there is a surplus it will go to develop and support further work we do to fight for a better fairer future for all.
We’re pleased to announce that, thanks to our threat of legal action, the Government says it will publish its long overdue report on spiking in the autumn. That means we are no longer fundraising for this litigation, but will maintain pressure on the Government to deliver on their commitment, and consider further legal action if they do not. Thank you for generously donating to the case so far, you made it possible. The funds raised will cover the legal costs we have incurred to date. 10% of the sums raised will go to Good Law Project so that we can continue to use the law for a better world. It is our policy to only raise sums that we reasonably anticipate could be spent on this litigation.
The Home Office has finally released its statutory report on Spiking, available here:
In the report, the Government commit to spending money on various initiatives, including on-the-spot testing kits, awareness campaigns, and “intensification weeks” where policing will focus on spiking. They will also clarify the law on spiking by amending the Offences Against the Persons Act, and will provide separate guidance to provide a clear definition of what spiking is. Whilst there is still much work to be done to tackle this crime, we are pleased that, with your help, the pressure we put on the Home Office has achieved real progress on this important issue.
Thanks to the amazing support of Good Law project supporters, we raised £2,906.75.
If you’d like to support our general work, you can do so here: