Sutton Coldfield revellers warned to beware
With drink spiking reaching epidemic proportions, not least in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands Police have offered guidelines over how to avoid the it.
Our priority, as always, will be to keep you safe. We know that there’s still lots of concerns about being spiked while out so we’re doing even more to stop crimes before they happen.
Our officers on patrol and CCTV operators will be using behavioural science techniques to identify suspicious behaviour and body language. If they spot something, they’ll have a chat and see what’s going on and take further action such as stop and search if they have to.
Our sniffer dogs will also be out walking queues ready to detect drugs and weapons while our drone team will be monitoring crowded places.
We’ve bought in 500 multiple drug test kits and have detectives ready to respond to reports of spiking. The aim is to get samples from the casualty as soon as possible to help us detect drugs in their system. This will help us bring offenders before the courts
. We’ve also been sharing the signs of spiking so people know how to stay safe, what to look out for and when to get help.
Bars are briefed and almost all of them are taking extra measures to keep their customers safe. ID checks and extra searches can be expected along with more patrols inside the venue with close monitoring of CCTV.
Staff are ready to help if people need it, with larger clubs providing on site medics.
Some places are also offering free drug detection kits for people who are worried their drink may have been tampered with.
Street Pastors and wardens will also be out patrolling and ready to respond.
Detective Superintendent Sean Phillips is leading on our response to the rise in reports of spiking. He said: “The aim of spiking may be to incapacitate someone enough to rob or sexually assault them. Sometimes it is just intended as a joke – a bad joke because it’s very dangerous.
“People can be spiked with extra shots added to their drinks or by drugs being added. Spiking has also come to mean being injected with drugs without their knowledge or permission.
“Spiking is an act of violence – most often by men against women and it’s got to stop. We’ll do everything we can to make that happen.”
No needle stick reports in the West Midlands have resulted in subsequent crimes against the victim, such as robbery or sexual assaults.
Sexual offences have followed in 10 drink spiking crimes. These include rape, attempt rape, sexual assault and causing a female to engage in sexual activity.
Spiking is against the law. It’s a serious crime with serious consequences.
People are more aware of spiking than ever before so you’re more likely to be found out.
If you spiked someone to enable sexual activity, you could face 10 years in jail, you may also be placed on the sex offenders register.
A criminal conviction will change your life. You may lose your job, your home, future careers will be affected when you tell them about your past and you may also face restrictions on travel with countries like the USA not giving visas to people with convictions for serious crimes.
Make the right choices and look out for each other.
Get information on spiking at west-midland.police.uk
The charity Victim Support are ready to help you if you’ve been spiked in the past and are struggling to cope. Call them 24/7 on 0808 1689.
This message was sent by Stefanie Sadler (Police, Engagement & Consultation officer, Birmingham Partnerships)