Downturn in Portsmouth spiking reports despite 20 recorded incidents involving needles - while police they are ‘working relentlessly’ to make bars and clubs ‘spike aware’

DRINK and needle reports are going down in Portsmouth - although police have been informed of more than 20 spiking incidents involving injections occurring since October.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:55 am

The news comes shortly after evidence from spiking victims was heard by the Commons Home Affair Committee.

Yesterday, individuals spoke in an evidence session about the impact spiking has had on their physical or mental health, and the quality of support they received from police and other groups.

Campaign groups also spoke about their understanding of the prevalence of spiking and their work in promoting awareness.

Spiking.

Hampshire police say they have seen a drop in both drink spiking and needle spiking reports - in which victims are spiked with substances added to drinks or injected into their body without their knowledge - in Portsmouth over the last few months.

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Drink spiking reports rose to 21 in October, while 14 were reported in November and December saw 10 drink spiking reports made.

No needle spiking reports were made before October, which saw six reports.

The anti-spiking poster campaign run by Pompey Safe Space Scheme. Picture: Pompey Safe Space Scheme

This rose to 11 in November before declining to four in December - and one report has been made so far in January.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We recognise that drink spiking is a big concern for communities and we’ve been working really hard to develop our understanding of spiking in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

‘Nationally, we started to see an increase in drink spiking and needle spiking reports in October and November 2021 and this is when the reports peaked.

‘Since then, reports have decreased throughout the county.’

City clubbers took part in a ‘Girls Night In Pompey’ protest on October 27, raising awareness of spiking and sexual assault in bars and clubs.

This campaign was part of a national movement after women reported being injected with dangerous substances during freshers’ week at the University of Nottingham.

Common spiking symptoms are confusion, lack of coordination, slurred speech, nausea, hallucinations, vomiting, paranoia and unconsciousness.

If you think you or a friend has been spiked, tell a member of staff straight away, seek medical attention, and report it to the police.

The police spokeswoman added: ‘To help us understand reports of spiking, we’ve been working relentlessly with bars and clubs to ensure that all venues are ‘spike aware’ and that staff are able to care for people who are reporting they have been spiked and urging those to call the police if they believe this crime has happened to them.

‘We’ve also been working with staff to raise awareness around spiking, whether that is spotting the signs or providing preventative measures like covers on straws, glasses and bottles – or clearing away unattended drinks, and implementing search regimes at entrances, to prevent offences from occurring and identify potential offenders.

‘We have recently invested in multi-drug urine test kits which give an immediate reading and help us obtain early evidence.

‘Anyone who thinks that they have been spiked in a club should report this immediately to both police and venue staff.

‘The quicker we know about it the better opportunity we have to identify offenders and safeguard you.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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