England: Spiking to be defined in law

England: Spiking to be defined in law

Spiking will be clearly defined in English law under UK government plans to protect women and girls from violence and abuse.

The forthcoming Criminal Justice Bill will put beyond doubt that spiking is illegal and will be backed with separate guidance, set in law, to provide a clear, unequivocal definition of what spiking is, ministers said Monday.

Rape Crisis England & Wales defines spiking as “when someone puts alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink or body without their knowledge or consent — in many cases, to make it easier to rape or sexually assault them”.

Alongside legislative change, the government announced research into self-testing kits, more training for door staff and better education for young people to raise awareness about the threat of spiking. There will also be co-ordinated police action to crackdown on spiking during key weeks of the year.

Home secretary James Cleverly said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a personal priority for me and this government has shown time and again that we will do what is necessary to keep the public safe.

“Spiking is a perverse crime which can have a lasting impact on victims. Our comprehensive new measures are designed to help police and staff in bars, restaurants, pubs and other premises to protect victims and bring more offenders to justice.”

Laura Farris, minister for victims and safeguarding, added: “Spiking is an insidious and predatory act which is already illegal under existing laws.

“We are amending legislation to make the offence explicit and capture the modern-day nature of the threat.

“Taken alongside new measures to improve the way the police respond to incidents, and better equipping venue staff to identify, respond and protect their customers, we are sending a clear message that perpetrators of this crime should expect to be caught and face justice.”

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