Date Responded 16 November 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

Please may you provide me with the aggregated number of ‘drink spiking’ incidents recorded by your force between 2015 and September 2021, broken down by year, as well as the number of convictions for drink spiking in the same period.

Please search for this data using the following Home Office crime codes:

  • 005/10 (Administering poison so as to endanger life)
  • 008/02 10 (Administering poison with intent to injure or annoy)
  • 005/24 (Use of noxious substances of things to cause harm and intimidate)
  • 088/05 (10 (Administering a substance with intent)
  • 005/05 10 (Administering drug with intent to commit indictable offence)
  • 24/1/2 (sex-administer drug to facilitate intercourse)

Please also do a keyword search of MO codes, using the terms, 'spiking', 'drink-spike', 'drink spiked', spiked drink', while checking to make sure that they don't refer to some other context (e.g.  'a spiked fence' or 'spiked hair').

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with both the Corporate Development and Criminal Justice Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows with the caveats below noted:

  • You have requested the number of “incidents”, however it should be noted that at the point of reporting, we would raise a crime in relation to these cases.  As such the data below is based on crimes.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
  • The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
  • Data for this submission has been extracted from the central database using the following HO codes based on the specifics of this request:

005/10 administering poison so as to endanger life

008/02 Administering poison with intent to injure or annoy

005/24 Use of noxious substances or things to cause harm and intimidate

088/05 Administering a substance with intent

005/05 Wounding:- using chloroform etc to commit or assist in committing an indictable offence

  • Of note, you provided one code that could not be traced: 24/1/2 (sex-administer drug to facilitate intercourse)
  • The search also included crimes including the following exact terms in the MO: 'spiking', 'drink-spike', 'drink spiked', spiked drink'
  • Due to how the force records crimes, we have also included the method means "SPD" for spiked drink in the search.
  • Each case was then manually reviewed to check it relates to drink spiking - only including a crime if it explicitly states that the victim's drink was, or was suspected to be, influenced by any substance.
  • It should be noted that drink spiking can take place in locations other than bars and nightclubs, for example domestic or residential homes.  These incidences will be included in this dataset.

The results of those searches are as below.

Year

Offences

2015

11

2016

24

2017

25

2018

42

2019

31

2020

22

2021

24

Within the period requested there were three cautions and zero recorded convictions.

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