In a recent survey one in six students said they had been spiked at a nightlife venue.

Spiking is already illegal but as part of his personal priority to tackle violence against women and girls, James Cleverly announced that spiking will be targeted by both the police and door staff in new measures that will be introduces to reduce the number of incidents.

What does this mean for operators?

As an operator you have a duty to keep customers safe. Not only that but spiking incidents in your venue are bad publicity and bad for business.

You will need to be up to speed with the details of the new measures once introduced and ensure that your staff training and procedures are adequate to guard against the risks to customers.

The level of precautions you are required to take will depend on the circumstances. We will provide further commentary once the detail of the legislation and guidance is known.

What will the new legislation say?

  • Clarification that spiking is illegal
  • Guidance will provide an unequivocal definition of what spiking is
  • Clarification that the maximum sentence for an individual found guilty of spiking is 10 years imprisonment

Practical measures to be introduced

  • Providing training for door staff to help them identify potential perpetrators and signs an individual has been spiked;
  • Investing in research into spiking testing kits to aid venues and police to detect if a drink has been spiked in real-time;
  • An online spiking tool across all police forces to allow victims to anonymously report being a victim of the crime;
  • A spiking guidance/advice toolkit for the public

There will also be a number of co-ordinated police action weeks which will attempt to crack down on spiking.

You can read the more detail on the Government announcement here.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.