Friday, October 29, 2021

Calls for action over spiking risk

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats are calling for action in order to reduce the risk of spiking in Neath Port Talbot county borough. 

The call comes after concern continues to grow over the reported increase in spiking incidents across Wales and England. Figures from the BBC revealed a rise in recorded cases of drink-spiking, with more than 2,600 reported incidents in England and Wales since 2015. This includes a worrying rise in the number of incidents of “injection spiking”, where a victim is injected with drugs using a small needle without their consent. 72 per cent of the alleged victims of spiking were female. 

Local Liberal Democrats stated that these reports had led to a growth in fear and anxiety, especially among young women and are calling for action to be taken. Commenting, party secretary Frank Little stated: “The reported rise in spiking incidents across the country is seriously concerning. Women and others should not be being forced to change their behaviour in order to have an enjoyable night out. These concerns come on the back of existing anxieties over sexual assault and violence. 

“We are calling on relevant stakeholders to take what action it can to help women and young people feel safe. We would like to see the Council support and promote two schemes in particular that have already been deployed across Lincolnshire. 

“The first is the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme where bar and venue staff are trained so that when a person who believes themselves to be in danger can ask for Angela, a fictitious member of the staff. The staff will then help the person get home discreetly and safely.

“The second is the adoption of a scheme put forward by PubWatch, which seeks to have free drug testing kits permanently placed behind bars. Venues could take this further by offering free lids or covers for drinks.

“Finally, we call on South Wales Police to ensure that cases of both drink spiking and injection spiking are being recorded as distinct instances, allowing us to know just how widespread the problem is.

“Overall, we need Government legalisation to help tackle this problem, but the steps outlined above can be pushed by the County Borough Council here and now.”

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