According to MPs, cases of nightclub spiking are being “underreported quite substantially”.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee heard that needle spiking has become more common post-lockdown, but victims and premises are ‘reluctant’ to report cases despite the overall number of incidents rising in the past few months.

Committee members, who began an inquiry into spiking last week, heard that victims are ‘predominantly’ but ‘not exclusively’ women aged between 18 and 25, with mostly male offenders. 

Paul Fullwood, of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), said there is a lack of data, with a ‘fraction’ of reported night time incidents about spiking and date rape.

He stated, “Our evidence is that it is significantly underreported from what can be seen.”

Paul Fullwood, of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), said there is a lack of data, with a 'fraction' of reported night time incidents about spiking and date rape

Paul Fullwood from the Security Industry Authority said that data is lacking, and there has been a ‘fraction of night time reports about spiking, date rape, and other incidents.

Juliet McGeough shared a photo of a puncture wound in her back after she went to Revolution in Reading, Berkshire

Chloe Madico, 20, from Woking said in October that she was spiked by a needle in Guildford Popworld

Juliet McGeough took a photograph of a puncture in her back after attending Revolution in Reading (Berkshire). Chloe Madico (20 years old) from Woking claimed in October she had been spiked in Guildford Popworld. (right).

Experts weigh in on injection spike reports 

It is possible.

Yes, indeed. There are numerous credible reports that have been made that some people have awakened with needle marks from having been spiked.

According to one expert, the possibility of this being widespread is “deeply unlikely”. 

VICE World News interviewed David Caldicott (an emergency medicine consultant) and co-founder of WEDINOS’ drug testing program. 

“It is really difficult to put a needle into someone without them being aware, particularly if the needle has to be in there long enough (maybe 20 seconds) to inject enough drug to cause it to happen.

Is it possible to give an injection so fast?

It is true – but it is not the best.Experts believe that discreetly they’d require a highly potent drug.

GHB is a well-respected ‘date-rape’ drug. It can also be self-administered at small amounts by recreational users.

Guy Jones, a senior scientist with the Loop drug charity, said that it was a poor candidate for injection due to the high amount of fluid required. 

“It would also require (it would need) a thick, painless needle. According to him, this would mean that the drug involved could be detected in toxicology screenings for many days.

Adam Winstock (Director of the Global Drug Survey) stated that there are not many drugs or medicines that can be administered intramuscularly in sufficient quantities to cause a noticeable effect. 

“What you see in movies is not real” Keep your drinks near you, don’t give them to strangers, and be considerate of your friends.

Is it possible to administer drugs to any body part?

True, but there are parts that work better than others.

VICE interviewed Mr Jones to explain that drugs are not intravenously injectable. However, certain injection points do not function well.

“The back is one such unsuitable site due to its low fat-muscle contents and high number of pain receptors.

How about drinking spiking?

Although injection spiking remains possible, it is much more common to drink spike.

The number of incidents involving drink-spiking has increased in the UK by 108 Percent between 2015 and 2018. There were 179 such incidents in 2017, alone. 

The official recorded figures are not the exact numbers. They could be higher because it’s common to people to ignore reporting it to police.

Charity Drinkaware recommends: “Don’t take a drink from anyone you don’t like and, if possible, buy drink stoppers online to top off your drink.” 

Gamma Hydroxybutyrate and Rohypnol are two of the most popular ‘date-rape drug’.

Sometimes, recreational drugs such as Ecstasy and Lysergic Acid Derthylamide LSD (Ketamine) are used to increase the alcohol content. 

“This does not take away the effort and diligence of people who try to find these kinds of things, but it is underreported.

“There is a lack in awareness.” It’s because there isn’t enough understanding. 

On Wednesday, the committee held an evidence session on spiking.

Jeanie Bell is a member of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities’ Board. She stated: “You have almost got a double problem. You’ve got people who are underreporting people going to venues, and they often leave before realizing they were spiked.

“But, then, you have venues who might be reluctant to say that they think there may be a problem with the spiking at our venue. We’re not receiving reports, but we believe that it could be an issue.” They’re concerned about being penalised, whether licences will be revoked, since the licensing authority has a lot of power over how to effectively manage premises.

Ms Bell also serves as a Cabinet Member on St Helen’s Council. She told the committee that people need to be encouraged to call the Police or Crimestoppers in the aftermath of incidents.

She said, “If you don’t manage to get to the perpetrators or you are unable to deal with them, then you won’t stop the spiking from happening.”

Michael Kill is the chair of Night Time Industries Association. He stated that students returning to university in autumn usually see a spike for reported cases.

He stated to MPs that the rate of venues being reopened was increasing after lockdown.

As part of the investigation into the UK’s prevalence, spiking victims spoke out to MPs about their horrendous experiences in being targeted at nightclubs or bars.

Two women and one man shared their shocking accounts with a House of Commons Committee. They described how they were targeted by date-rape drugs.

The university student who was one of the victims, described how it hurt to be injected in her leg with a steroid.  

A 51-year old mother of three said that her body lost control after she had drank in Cornwall’s ‘quiet bars’.

Unidentified man spoke out about how he was on Las Vegas vacation when he got spiked. He ended up in hospital with kidney and liver damage.  

Three victims of spiking gave their stories as part of an investigation by the Commons Home Affairs Committee.

In order to better understand the prevalence of spiking in Britain and how effective the police respond, the Committee will be asking victims of spiking for their stories.

This inquiry was launched following a string of alleged “needle spiking” incidents, in which both men and women claimed they were given a drug for rape.

Hannah Stratton from Newquay, Cornwall was one of the witnesses.

She shared with MPs the story of how she had been drinking while having wine and conversation in a quiet bar.

According to the 51-year old, she was unable to hold her upper body straight and felt her legs feel like lead.

Although her friends assisted her in getting into a taxi, she stated that she was judged by the driver for drinking and felt that the entire experience had been ‘degrading.

Ms. Stratton said, “You feel so disgusted within yourself – that might make sense for other victims.

It sounds ridiculous. I have heard it from many people. It is.

Councillor Jeanie Bell, member of the Local Government Association's safer and stronger communities' board, said: 'You've almost got like a two-fold problem, where you've got people underreporting from people attending venues and often they'll leave the venue before they realise they've been spiked'

Jeanie bell, Councillor, is part of the Local Government Association’s Safer and More Secure Communities’ Board. “You almost have a double problem. People are underreporting about people at venues. And often, they leave the venue before it becomes obvious that they were spiked,” she said.

It takes a long time for me to realize I don’t have any self-blame and I shouldn’t blame myself. That’s why it didn’t get reported.

Although she admitted that she was unsure if she had drunk enough, she said that she still has feelings of self doubt. I haven’t behaved this way in my whole life and it’s not something I want to do after having a few drinks of wine.

Ms. Stratton stated that she had taught her daughters the dangers, but believed she was too old to have it happen.

According to her, she posted a blog post about the experience online and received around 100 responses from people “of both sexes” who claimed it happened to them.

Last week, the committee held its first evidence session on spiking.