Despite being a criminal offence in the UK, spiking continues to claim thousands of victims each year. Estimated up of 40,000 people being spiked annually, the nation is eager to investigation the issue and develop innovative solutions. Depending on the intention, the act of spiking is criminalised in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and Offences Against A Person Act 1861, and yet not even 50 people have been charged since 2018. The government is interested in addressing this, but what progress has been made by the nation so far to make the nightlife safe?
Many clubs spend a generous sum of income on security to remain vigilant about who enters. Searches and metal detectors are being utilised by the night sector to identify people who are entering and intending to cause harm. Additionally, security is trained to intervene when people look like they are in trouble, to the extent of recognising who people arrive and leave with in case of suspicious activities. Although this has not prevented an increase in spiking cases in the recent years, club owners are adamant that they are implementing the necessary security measures to tackle the issue and reassure customers that their safety is a priority.
A common method of spiking targets drinks that are not being closely watched, taking advantage of people enjoying themselves. The drugs can often change the colour and flavour of the drink, but this can be difficult to detect if people are not alert, or if venue lighting causes difficulty. If people have the suspicion that their drink has been spiked due to being left unattended, for instance, they may benefit from purchasing spiking testing kits. With companies like DrinkSafe passionate about the anti-spiking movement, there are many products being introduced to the market which quickly signal if drugs are present within a drink. As spiking is out of someone’s control, spiking detectors can be an effective way to stay safe on a night out.
Education is important in keeping populations safe. This includes spiking, which many people forget to look out for. In the UK, not-for-profit organisations like Stamp Out Spiking are joining the anti-spiking movement to eliminate the issue. In hopes of achieving a safer nightlife in the UK, these organisations are urging parliamentary action, offering resources to spread awareness, and highlighting solutions like drink toppers. As well as this, more engagement with men is being prioritised to encourage friend groups to call out dangerous behaviour and protect women who are the most common victims of spiking.
It can be disappointing to read about the high cases of spiking when nightlife should be enjoyable. However, it is worth noting that there is progress within the anti spiking movement. By encouraging a focus on parliamentary action from the government, more can be done to amplify the work being done for security measures, spiking detection, and awareness. In doing so, a safer nightlife in the UK can be achieved, and people, especially women, can feel in control again as they go out to socialise.