In a letter to the Commons home affairs committee published today (4 July), the Home Office said it was working on a campaign at the start of the new academic year to urge students to take extra care on nights out, The Times has reported.
If follows claims last autumn that nightclub goers have been victims of needle-spiking, with the Government currently considering whether to make it a specific criminal offence.
Responding to the release of the Home Office Committee’s report on spiking, Michael Kill, chief executive, Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said it clearly highlighted the solution to tackling this crime is in effective partnerships.
“The NTIA have worked closely with the Home Office, NPCC, local police, key stakeholders as well as devolved nation police forces to identify initiatives, share best practices and consider solutions to tackling these crimes over the last nine months,” he said.
“We continue to strive for the Home Office to lead a national approach, advocating for a national training standard, administration of an effective operational process for businesses to follow through to police investigation, a clear categorisation of spiking as a crime and the continuation of the current national campaign against spiking targeting perpetrators.”
Research found that the majority of spiking incidents happened at house parties (35%), with 28% in nightclubs and 13% in bars – but most spiking incidents involve adulterated drinks rather than needle spiking.
Last November, UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and Hospitality Ulster joined forces in a bid to help operators combat the 'despicable crime' of drink spiking, producing a factsheet that brings together preventative resources in one place.