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NPCC updates spiking messaging in bid to boost reporting

The NPCC has produced new messaging for victims of spiking.

New messaging which provides advice for victims of spiking will now be available on policing websites including those of individual forces and police.uk.

The advice will also be able to be accessed via the NHS and Talk to Frank and will be sent out to universities ahead of Freshers Week.

The NPCC has said that evidence gathering in spiking cases is often hampered by victims not reporting early as well as being tested by health services rather than the police.

The updated messaging will give advice on steps to take as well as highlight the importance of reporting to the police.

The guidance advises that it is not a crime to have illegal drugs in your system and asks individuals not to let that deter them from reporting.

It further gives information about how testing is completed and when test results would come back.

Earlier this year, the Home Affairs Committee said that while recorded crimes for drink spiking have increased annually between 2016-2019, fewer than a third of respondents to their survey said they reported an incident where they were spiked.

The Home Affairs Committee report asked for better education and awareness campaigns to facilitate better data collection - without which, it said, the extent of the crime cannot be understood nor can policy initiatives be informed.

The report further found that victims are “ping-ponged” between the health service and the police which delays evidence collection.

The new NPCC guidance outlines that tests will need to be done by both health services and the police.

Currently spiking is not included within the Information Sharing to Tackle Violence programme, and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine has previously called for emergency departments to establish local initiatives to anonymously share data with local crime prevention partnerships.

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