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Case update 12 July 2023

We’re challenging the Home Office’s lack of action on spiking

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

The Home Office has failed to publish a plan to tackle drink spiking. Good Law Project is teaming up with The Gemini Project to challenge their lack of action.

Spiking is on the rise. Studies report up to 15% of women and 7% of men have had something put into their drink without their knowledge or consent. Spiking your drink leaves you at risk of assault, robbery or rape. 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.

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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.

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

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.

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