In a united front, Members of Parliament have rallied behind the call for a specific offence against spiking, as proposed by previous Home Secretary Priti Patel, and re-enforced by the NTIA during the evidence given by Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, at the initial Home Affairs Committee on Spiking.
The Backbench Business Committee, led by Judith Cummins MP, will be heard on the 14th December in Westminster Hall addressing the pressing issue around crime categorisation and look to remedy the delay in the government’s report due by April 28, 2023.
The proposal gains momentum not only due to the overdue report but also in response to the government’s recent acknowledgement of a change in perspective regarding the need for a specific spiking offence. Amidst mixed messages from the Home Office and Home Secretaries, cross-party unity seeks to clarify the situation and expedite the release of the much-anticipated report.
Cummins highlighted the urgency during the recent committee meeting, stating, “Spiking can fall under seven different offences: three if it is by drink and four if it is by needle or drink. It is often under-reported or reported incorrectly, and it is near impossible for anybody to make any sense of the wide scale spread of spiking.”
The call for a specific spiking offence has received widespread support, with 33 Members of Parliament from five political parties endorsing the application. The movement is further bolstered by a ten-minute rule Bill introduced in June 2023 by Richard Graham.
Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA, emphasises the need for robust data to combat this crime effectively, a requirement not met by the existing legislative framework. The absence of spiking being recognised as a distinct crime appears almost surreal, given its impact on thousands of people’s lives.
With the support of the cross-party backbench committee and the incumbent Home Secretary, there is a renewed confidence that a new opportunity will arise to address the legislative shortcomings. The goal is to establish spiking as a separate category, which will streamline the process to track this crime and strengthen intelligence and profiling of perpetrators, in a drive to reduce the exposure to this crime within society.”