We’re working closely with night time venues across the force to tackle drink spiking. We want to ensure that those working in bars, pubs and clubs know how to correctly support a victim of drink spiking and the way to report it. We also want to be clear that we will not tolerate drink spiking. Individuals who are going out intending to behave in this way will be found and will be stopped.
What is drink spiking?
To spike a drink means to put alcohol or drugs into someone’s drink without their knowledge or permission. The aim may be to incapacitate someone enough to rob or sexually assault them, although sometimes it is intended as a joke – a bad joke.
Drink spiking is illegal and carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison. If a robbery, sexual assault or other criminal behaviour has taken place, the sentence may be even longer.
What are the signs of drink spiking?
If you think your drink, or someone you are out with has had their drink spiked, there are a range of things to look out for including:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of ability to communicate properly
- Poor coordination
What should you do if you think you, or someone you are with has been spiked?
- Tell the people you’re with, make sure you’re with someone you trust and that you are somewhere where you feel safe away from crowds
- If you feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened you can ask for help by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase indicates to staff that you need help and a trained member of staff with then support and assist you.
- If you feel unwell you should seek medical attention immediately and tell them that you believe your drink has been spiked.
- Report to the police as soon as possible by calling 101. Dial 999 in an emergency. Drugs can leave the body in as little as 12 hours after consumption so it’s important you receive help and get tested quickly.
- If possible keep hold of the drink you believe has been spiked as it may be used as evidence.
If you’re thinking of spiking someone’s drink, you should know:
- Drink spiking is illegal and carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison. This means that slipping alcohol or drugs into someone’s drink is against the law, even if the drink is not consumed or the person is not harmed. If a robbery, sexual assault or other criminal behaviour has taken place, the sentence will be even longer. A criminal offence may also affect a person’s ability to obtain a visa, travel abroad or apply for certain jobs.
- Police officers are out and about and are on the lookout for individuals who may be intending to spike someone’s drink and/or cause them harm. They will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.
- We are working with pubs, clubs and night time economy venues to tighten our grip on this type of behaviour. Staff are looking out for the signs and will immediately contact us if they suspect someone is spiking drinks. They will act swiftly and use CCTV, a network of trained officers and innovative techniques to collect evidence and track down offenders.