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.
Can I please request the below information broken down annually for each calendar year – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and also 2021 to date if possible.
1. The total number of incidents of “spiking" reported to the police, be that by drink or injection? Please search for this data on the Initial Modus Operandi (MO) of an investigation for the keywords *spike* (to account for “spike”, “spiked”, “spiking”), and/or *lacing* while checking to make sure they don’t refer to some other context.
2. The number of incidents broken down by means of administration i) drink or ii) injection.
3. The number of incidents broken down by Victim Gender.
4. The number of incidents broken down by Outcome Type.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within the Corporate Development Department 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 in the attached document with the following caveats noted:
• The data has been gathered by a free-text search for the following terms: "spik" and "lacing". Only exact matches of the above will be counted. No other search methods have been employed and it should be noted that this is not the normal method we would use to identify such instances. As such figures will not match other published disclosures on this subject.
• This request has asked for the MO field to be searched, and has requested incidents. There is no incident MO field, this field only exists on crimes. As the action in question is a notifiable offence, for which a crime would be logged immediately, the data constitute a count of crimes.
• 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.
• Please note that some of the data has been presented in such a manner as to avoid the application of exemptions relevant under the Act (Section 40 – Personal Information) to withhold, due to low numbers, and these will not be broken down further.
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.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.