Drink spiking: Young women main targets in Northamptonshire in 2021, zero suspects charged, and major increase in reports, according to data

Northamptonshire Police has provided a data set relating to drink and needle spikings across the county - here's what we know

By Logan MacLeod
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:00 pm

New data has revealed that 79 people across Northamptonshire have reported being victims of drink spiking in 2021 - which is a huge increase from the previous six years.

Northamptonshire Police has released data about reported drink and needle spikings across the county after receiving a large number of information requests about the trending crime.

Drink and needle spiking has been heavily in the public eye in September, October and November this year both in the county and across the country.

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79 people in Northamptonshire reported being spiked this year

This newspaper has reported extensively on the situation in Northampton, which has seen mainly young women claim how they do not remember most of their night despite not drinking to excess.

In response to the reports, Northamptonshire Police launched Operation Kalon to investigate reports of drink-spiking and also Operation Kayak, which was set up to identify and prevent predatory behaviour in the night-time economy.

Data

There are numerous categories the police use to organise reports of drink spikings, these are listed as follows:

• Administer drug with intent to commit an indictable offence

• Administer poison with intent to endanger life / inflict grievous bodily harm

• Administer poison with intent to injure / aggrieve / annoy

• Sex - administer a substance with intent

Monthly breakdown

The following offences relate to a drink spiking or needle injection based spiking and were correct on November 15.

There were five reports of spiking in January; two reports of spiking in February; five reports of spiking in March; four reports of spiking in April; zero reports of spiking in May; one report of spiking in June; seven reports of spiking in July; four reports of spiking in August; 26 reports of spiking in September ; 25 reports of spiking in October.

Reports for November and December have not yet been issued by police but it is clear to see the large increase of spikings from September onwards.

In total, between January and October, there were 79 reports of spikings. Last year the total was 31, and the year before that it was 22.

Categories

Out of the 79 spiking reports this year:

71 were categorised as an attempt to administer poison with the intent to injure / aggrieve / annoy

Six were categorised as an attempt to administer poison with intent to endanger life / inflict grievous bodily harm

One was categorised as an attempt to administer a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence

One was categorised under the sexual offences act 2003

Outcomes

Out of the 79 spiking reports this year:

Zero suspects have been charged

14 victims have declined to go further or unable to identify offender

Seven suspects have been named but there was 'evidential difficulties'

Six victims have declined to take further action after the suspect was named and identified

52 times the investigation has been complete with no suspect identified

Location

In central Northampton there have been 48 reported spikings between January and October.

Victims

The majority of this year's victims were between the ages of 18-24, female and white British.

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of Victim Support, said: “We are seriously concerned by increased reports of spiking targeting women.

“These incidents are not only extremely dangerous for victims’ immediate health and safety, but they can put them at serious risk of further harm and lead to long-lasting impacts.

“As with many violence against women and girls offences, it is likely that many of these crimes go unreported and that police figures may not reflect their full scale.

“What is clear however is that no woman should fear for her safety when going out, and we urgently call on the police and nightlife industry to put strong measures in place to address this dangerous offending.”

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