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Case update 01 August 2023

Home Office promises to report on drink spiking thanks to our challenge

Yuri A / Shutterstock

Government has responded to our legal threat and pledged to publish their long overdue report on drink spiking.

Good Law Project is 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. 

The Home Office had committed to publishing its report – looking specifically at the prevalence of drink spiking and steps it would take to tackle the problem – in April. The report has failed to materialise, despite being a legal obligation as part of the Police, Crimes and Sentencing Act 2022. 

We teamed up with The Gemini Project, a non-profit, which works to tackle sexual violence, to challenge this failure. 

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Not only did the Government miss their April deadline, blaming the local elections in May, but after promising the report would be produced shortly afterwards, we are still waiting.  

We agree with the Gemini Project who think this is an issue that wasn’t being prioritised by the Government despite pleas for spiking to be taken more seriously:

It is a fact that women are disproportionately victimised as a result of spiking, and that spiking is often used as a means to facilitate sexual offences. We are concerned that in not publishing this important report the government is reneging on both their legal duty to address the issue and their commitments to combating violence against women and girls.”
– Lucy Nevitt, The Gemini Project

We believe this report is an essential first step to tackling spiking, due to the absence of robust statistics on the issue. Whilst research suggests spiking is on the rise, with recorded crimes increasing every year between 2016 and 2019, The National Police Chief’s Council told an inquiry on spiking that poor data means “the true figure” on spiking prevalence is “likely to be much higher” than reported. 

We can’t let the current lack of reporting, resources, training and action leave people – predominantly young women – at risk. Victims are being let down, and perpetrators are finding new ways to spike victims, such as spiking vapes. Many of them are getting away with it. 

Whilst this re-commitment is a step in the right direction, we are  keeping pressure on the Home Office by asking them exactly when in the autumn they will publish this report. And if they fail to deliver again, we will consider further legal action.