30 May 2024

Is drink spiking a problem in Salisbury? Here’s what we know

The topic of spiking has dominated the headlines recently as accounts of women being spiked by injection have caused concern among young women, parents, and politicians.

While the scale of spiking by injection is currently unknown, police force data reported by Sky News shows that drink spiking has more than doubled in three years in the UK, with an increase of 108% since 2015.

Spiking is an illegal offence where someone adds drugs or alcohol to another person’s drink without them knowing.

Locally, figures supplied by the Business Intelligence Unit at Wiltshire Police show that drink spiking in Salisbury is at its highest over the past three years, with five reported incidents in Salisbury so far this year (2021).

Figures of drink spiking for the past three years in Wiltshire and Salisbury show 12 incidents in 2019 (two in Salisbury), eight incidents in 2020 (one in Salisbury), and 12 incidents in 2021 (five in Salisbury).

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson said, “These figures include instances where spiking may be mentioned in the summary of the incident but may not later be confirmed”.

When asked about needle spiking, Wiltshire Police said, “We are not aware of any such incidents”.

A new scheme launched by Wiltshire Police, named Project Vigilant, aims to target perpetrator behaviours which are often displayed before a sexual offence takes place, in the hope of keeping those who go on a night out in Wiltshire safe.

In addition to the high visibility patrols already carried out by Community Policing Teams, Wiltshire Police say both uniformed officers and plain-clothed officers will target pubs and clubs in towns and cities across the county to identify individuals who may be displaying predatory behaviours.

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson added, “We continue to work closely with licensed premises and our partners across the county through initiatives like Project Vigilant to ensure everything is being done to spot the signs of predatory behaviour.

“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of spiking or have witnessed it to contact us on 101. Any reports of spiking will be investigated and taken seriously“.

For more information from Wiltshire Police about drink spiking click here.

If you feel uncomfortable on a night out in Wiltshire, you can also ‘Ask for Angela’ at participating venues where staff will be trained to offer you support. You can find more info and participating venues here.

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty