New Plans to Stop Drink Spikers

Spiking Crackdown: The Government’s New Plans to Tackle Drink Spiking

The UK government has announced a package of measures aimed at cracking down on drink and needle spiking in nightlife venues across England and Wales.

The plans come amid growing public concern over spiking incidents and calls for more action to tackle what Home Secretary James Cleverly described as a “perverse crime which can have a lasting impact on victims”.

Updating the Law on Spiking

A key part of the government’s strategy is to modernise the law to make it clear that spiking is a crime.

Ministers will amend the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 to explicitly cover spiking offences. This Victorian-era law already makes it illegal to “maliciously administer poison” but will now be updated with modern language and guidance to relate specifically to drink and needle spiking.

The changes intend to remove any ambiguity that spiking constitutes a criminal offence. While some campaigners have called for a wholly new and specific crime of “spiking” to be created, the government argues that updating the existing law will allow police and prosecutors to understand and deploy it more effectively.

More Training for Door Staff

As well as legal changes, the plans also focus on preventative measures to improve security procedures in bars, clubs and other premises.

Hundreds of extra door supervisors will be given specialist training in spotting potential perpetrators and signs that a customer may have been spiked.

Venues will also be encouraged to adopt rigorous searching protocols, implement anti-spiking bottle stoppers and regularly check toilet areas.

Industry experts have broadly welcomed these moves to professionalise door staff and introduce higher safety standards in premises where spiking frequently occurs.

Drug Testing Kits and National Police Operations

Increased funding will be made available for drink spiking test kits and research into making them more accurate and widely accessible.

It is hoped that on-site testing could act as an additional safeguard against spiking and quickly identify victims who require medical attention.

There will also be coordinated national police operations specifically targeting spiking hotspots and periods like university Freshers’ Week when incidents typically surge.

These intensive ops will involve extensive covert investigations and uniformed officer patrols aiming to identify offenders and support prosecution cases.

Reporting and Support for Victims

As well as enforcement and prevention, the government’s strategy also aims to make it easier for victims to access support.

A new online tool will be provided for anonymously reporting suspected spiking to police forces across the country. Officials hope this will give victims more confidence to come forward and provide intelligence.

There are also plans to reviews options for a “vaccination-style” programme that could offer people protection against common date rape drugs for a short period before a night out.

Will the Measures Be Enough?

While campaigners have broadly welcomed the scale and scope of the anti-spiking measures, some feel they still do not go far enough.

There are still calls for a specific criminal offence of “spiking” itself, rather than updating existing laws. Critics argue this would send a clearer message and improve reporting rates.

Others feel that more emphasis is needed on education for potential perpetrators and bystanders prepared to intervene in venues.

Ultimately, the government acknowledges that no single solution will eradicate drink and needle spiking completely. But ministers hope this robust package of measures will significantly move the dial and create a level playing field for venues and police trying to tackle these challenging issues.

Photo by Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

You May Also Like: