A few months ago, reports started surfacing across the British media about spiking. The economy reopening and bars and nightclubs trading again brought a slew of headlines about drinks being laced with drugs – and in particular, much talk about the seemingly new crime of needle spiking.
It was all very serious, and with good reason. I don’t dispute that spiking exists. Many years ago, I was asked to pick a friend up from a work party – and when she saw me and came over to my car, it was immediately obvious something was wrong. It was awful to witness, so I suspect it would be even worse to experience.
But amidst all this debate, one question which was absolutely crucial was never answered. How much spiking does actually happen? It’s not an unreasonable question to ask, but it seems to be next to impossible to answer. Researchers are pretty confident more women experience it than men – but next to nothing else in terms of numbers are known.
Which is why I was very interested when I discovered the UK’s Home Affairs Committee has taken up the mantle of trying to find out the answer to this question. Exactly how they’re going to succeed where others have failed – or possibly never even tried – is something I don’t know, but I do wish them well in their endeavours.
Whilst no one doubts the existence of this disgusting crime and violation, more facts in this debate would be welcome. It might even result in policies and punishments which deter it…