Police will be handing out spiking test kits as they step up patrols during the nighttime to tackle the horrific practice of drugging drinks.

Today is the start of Spiking Intensification Week following the publication of a statutory report into spiking at the end of 2023, focusing on the nighttime economy and improving police investigations.

Officers in plain clothes and uniform will be joined by representatives from the local authority carrying out licensing visits, educating proprietors on spiking and what to do in the event a spiking incident happens in the town centre, which make up Greater Manchester.

They will also be handing out spiking test kits, as well as prevention kits including bottle tops and glass sticks, to pass onto their patrons.

The Bolton News: Drink Spiking 0576-2018

Images to raise awareness of the the risk of leaving a drink unattended

Produced by Corporate & Media Imaging,
Corporate Communications Branch,
Greater Manchester Police 0161 856 2777,
Picture Desk 0161 856 2279.

The Ask Angela scheme will also be promoted throughout the town centres.

Ask Angela is a nationwide scheme, which was set up in 2016.

This scheme enables anyone to discreetly ask for help from a member of staff at any venue if they feel unsafe, Ask Angela also plays an integral part in combatting Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

Spiking is a criminal act and one which can carry a custodial sentence if prosecuted.

Some may think that spiking is only carried out by strangers which in fact it can also be carried out by people who know them, such as friends or relatives. It also happens to men as well as women and isn’t discriminatory when it comes to race or age.

Another myth is that the drug used in spiking is odourless and colourless, when in fact many drugs used in spiking will make a drink taste and smell differently. Cocaine, ecstasy, and ketamine have been known to be used to spike drinks in the past.

Officers at GMP say they will always take incidence of spiking seriously, looking to identify the people responsible.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Buckthorpe, who is GMP’s lead throughout Spiking Intensification Week said: “As a force, we are dedicated to identifying and taking positive action against those responsible for spiking, whilst protecting and supporting the victims of this cowardly crime.

“It is totally abhorrent and can have a significant, traumatic impact on victims, sometimes leaving them with long-lasting anxiety or distress. Whilst we apply prevention techniques throughout all boroughs, particularly within night-time economy as best practice, we are taking part in this dedicated week to raise the profile of this crime type even further.

“Our aim is to combat spiking force-wide, and we will be continuing the work we’re already doing, working closely with the licence holders of pubs and clubs, to prevent and reduce instances of spiking across Greater Manchester.

“We urge anyone who thinks they have been a victim of spiking to come forwards as soon as possible. It’s important that we are aware of incidents in order for us to pursue criminally on an individual basis, but also inform where best to patrol and where we can work even closer with licensees to prevent further occurrences.

“In the immediate if you or someone you know has been spiked in a licensed premises, speak with a member of the bar staff or manager who can be of assistance and call emergency services if you are unable to do so. Universities and their student unions situated within Greater Manchester also have initiatives and procedures in place around spiking.

“We are committed to the victims and witnesses of these crimes, and will provide support, whether this be through the NHS, Sexual Assault Referral Centres, GM Victim Support or other charities.”

Spiking incidents can be reported by dialling 101 or via the LiveChat function on our website www.gmp.police.uk. Information can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and emergencies should be reported by calling 999.