The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) have spoken out over the Home Affairs Committee Spiking Report in October and they have called for an Inquiry Into Spiking.
The Home Affairs Committee proceeded with the inquiry in late 2021 to investigate drink spiking following an increase in reported incidents across the UK.
The Home Affairs Committee has today published the report, which finds that a lack of available data on spiking has made it difficult to get a clear picture of its true extent, and will remain a barrier to policing until data collection is improved. The Committee calls for a focused response to ensure that incidents are better investigated and a knowledge base developed to underpin new strategies to combat spiking.
NTIA CEO Michael Kill said, “I thank the Home Affairs Committee for their important work on this spiking inquiry, which has produced a series of recommendations that the Home Office must now get on with delivering so that we can collectively tackle these abhorrent crimes within society.
“We saw an increase in reports of these heinous crimes in September last year and we made it clear that there was a need for an inquiry into spiking and what public policy changes would be required.
“The report’s key recommendations will be essential in reducing spiking and ensuring that everyone can enjoy a night out free from the fear of being the victim of a crime. We are also encouraged to see the Home Office move to review the categorisation of the drug GHB.
“We agree the Home Office should change the law to include a specific offence for spiking as a part of a national communication campaign to educate staff and the public on the issue, and we also support the calls for a duty on police to provide those who have reported spiking with forensic testing. Importantly, as the Committee notes, this needs to be national in scope to avoid the pitfalls of regional variation in approaches that we have seen to date.
“We note the Committee’s comments about some victims feeling they have been treated dismissively by venue staff – we are clear that this is wrong and stand ready to work with the Government on improving people’s experience when they are reporting these crimes. The work the industry and key stakeholders have done over the last 6 months in terms of raising awareness, training, re-evaluating operational processes and searching policy – as well as seeking mechanical protections. Testing continues to be extensive, but must be continually reviewed.
“One thing we have consistently emphasised is the role the shortage of door staff is playing in the crisis. We would be grateful for more engagement from the Home Office on door staff recruitment, in particular the recruitment of more women – who currently make up only 10% of staff – which we believe would help with some of the problems highlighted by the Committee.”
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