The areas with the highest number of recorded spiking offences revealed
West Midlands Police received 24 reports of people being spiked with drugs in just four days this month (November).
The force have revealed that between 10 November and 14 November 2021, it received 24 reports of people being spiked.
Nineteen of these reports were in Birmingham and three in Solihull.
It’s a huge increase from spiking reports between 2016 to 2020 when West Midlands Police recorded just 10 spiking offences.
Twenty of the 24 reports this month were of people having their drinks spiked - 13 men and 7 women (between the ages of 18 and 33).
Three of the reports were of women being spiked with a needle (between the ages of 18 and 19).
And one of the 24 reports was of a 21-year-old woman being spiked, although it was unknown whether it was through a needle or a drink.
New rapid multi-drug test kits were used 22 times over this period - the tests showed:
- Twelve were negative
- Two people declined the offer to provide a sample
- One person was unable to provide a sample
- One was a hospital test that we still have not had the results for
- Four tested positive for THC – a chemical found in cannabis and two tested positive for cocaine. Of these six, one said they had not used drugs (cannabis). The other five told us they had. No further action was taken against those people but they were offered the support of drugs charities to help them stop
- None of the three people who were spiked with a needle tested positive for drugs.
Despite working closely with the venues where these 24 cases happened, police have found no evidence that would help progress investigations.
There is currently a nationwide campaign to demand bars and nightclubs do more to act against drink spiking.
West Midlands Police brought most charges for spiking offences between 2016-2020
The high number of spiking offences recorded in the West Midlands also come as new figures show that the force has charged more suspects for spiking offences than any other in England and Wales.
This includes suspects who allegedly attacked victims with date rape drugs or other substances.
The charing figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request from BirminghamWorld sister site NationalWorld to the Home Office .
The offence is legally known as ‘administering a substance with intent’, which involves giving someone a substance with the intention to stupefy or overpower them for sexual purposes.
Between 2016 and 2020 West Midlands Police had recorded 10 spiking offences, specifically the crime of administering a substance with intent, between 2016 and 2020.
Of those, there were 9 outcomes for spiking offences recorded between 2016 and 2021.
Although out of those 9 outcomes, just two charges had been administered, the equivalent of a charge rate of 22.2%.
The other seven cases might have resulted in a suspect being cautioned, or the case against them dropped, or no suspect was identified.
But this figure actually means West Midlands Police rank as the most effective force for bringing about spiking charges in the UK between the four years to 2020.
The majority of forces didn’t manage a single charge despite some recording more than 35 spiking offences over that time.
What have police said about the spiking cases recorded this month?
Detective Superintendent Sean Phillips, from the West Midlands Police Public Protection Unit, said: “The update from experts is reassuring and mirrors what we’ve seen so far in the West Midlands.
“People may have received needle injuries, but thankfully so far we’ve no evidence of drugs being found in their system and no evidence that further crimes have been committed against them.
“I want to be clear and leave people in no doubt about our response to spiking reports. Spiking is a serious crime and we investigate every case. I want people to talk to us if they think they’ve been spiked.
“Our new rapid drug test kits are proving popular with casualties and are giving people the answers they need, fast. But they’re not the only tool we have.
“We want people to feel safe and be safe on a night out. We’re working closely with bars and others to improve safety and people will see that from the extra searches and ID checks that security staff are carrying out.”
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