Drinks Spiking

Home Department – in the House of Commons at on 25 April 2022.

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Photo of Duncan Baker Duncan Baker Conservative, North Norfolk

What steps her Department is taking to tackle drinks being spiked.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government take this issue extremely seriously. We are taking a range of actions, including reclassifying GHB and related substances from class C to class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These are the so-called date rape drugs that have been used in drug-facilitated crime, and we are of course considering the case for a specific criminal offence to target spiking, should it be required.

Photo of Duncan Baker Duncan Baker Conservative, North Norfolk

A constituent who has got in touch with me has had the dreadful problem of having her drink spiked. It has been a dreadfully traumatic experience, but on top of that, she can no longer go out and socialise with her friends because of the anxiety it has caused. What tougher sentencing we can introduce, and what preventive measures can we take to stop this dreadful crime ever happening again?

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

My hon. Friend is right that drink spiking and needle spiking have a very serious impact. I fully understand the anxiety of his constituent, and of course all our hearts go out to her. I very much hope that she will take some reassurance from the funding that the Government have provided to the Norfolk police and crime commissioner. He has been granted £427,000 for a range of practical initiatives designed to keep women safe on the streets at night, including drink spiking kits, taxi marshals, street pastors and more. I am sure his constituent will be pleased to know that there is already a range of offences under which people can be imprisoned, and some of those offences attract a life sentence.