Welsh Government urged to do more to stop spiking in clubs and bars

Most spiking incidents are in drinks, but there's a rise in spiking by injection.
There have been calls for better bag searches and enhanced CCTV

The Welsh Government is being urged do more to tackle spiking in Wales.

The Welsh Conservatives are asking the Government to provide bottle stoppers and drinks covers for free at hospitality venues.

The party is holding a debate in the Senedd today (10 November) after hundreds of reports of drinks being spiked across the UK, including several in Wales.

There has also been a rise in reports of claims women have been drugged by injection.

The Conservatives say they want the Government to help train staff on how to spot and deal with spiking incidents, as well as introducing better bag and pocket searches and enhanced CCTV at bars and clubs.

Investigations have been underway into reports of spiking on Swansea's Wind Street.

A series of club boycotts took place at the end of October with women and girls staying away from venues to raise awareness of the problem.

Police have been investigating a number of reports of spiking incidents on Swansea's Wind Street last month, with some women needing medical attention in A&E.

Tom Giffard MS, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Culture, leading the debate in the Senedd, said everyone should be able to go out without the fear of being spiked by "sick and depraved individuals".

“There have been some truly horrific and appalling spiking incidents in the news recently and we must do everything possible to eradicate this from our society.

“Some groups have formed and taken action to raise awareness of spiking and now is the time for Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay to heed our calls and play their part.

“It is vital they not only used devolved levers to prevent the rise in spiking, but they must also step in and work with stakeholders to ensure the safety of those going out at night.

Welsh government response

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The act of spiking is an insidious crime, it removes a person’s dignity, rights and freedom.

"That’s why we’re strengthening our Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) Strategy to include a focus on violence and harassment against women in the street and workplace as well as the home. 

“We will continue to work in partnership with specialist services to raise awareness of the inequality and safety issues faced by women and girls and with Welsh police forces, Police and Crime commissioners, public safety boards and the Crown Prosecution Service so people have the confidence to report and hold abusers and perpetrators of violence and these crimes to account.

“Where it is safe to do so, we want our communities to call out inappropriate behaviours and offer support to those affected, this includes males being empowered to engage with other men and boys to call out abusive and sexist behaviour among their friends, colleagues and communities to promote a culture of equality and respect.”

There has been increased reports of spiking across the UK.

The Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt has said "first and foremost let me be clear that it is not for women to modify their behaviour, it is for abusers to change theirs.

"The onus of these crimes does not fall on the women. It falls squarely on those men who commit them.

"Secondly, to those who know the perpetrators. If you know or see a person that is carrying out these crimes you have a moral duty to report them as soon as it is safe to do so. 

"We all have a duty in our communities to call out inappropriate behaviours and offer support, where it is safe to do so.

"This includes men being empowered to engage with other men and boys to call out abusive and sexist behaviour among their friends, colleagues and communities to promote a culture of equality and respect."

The Minister added, "at its heart, the revised strategy recognises VAWDASV is a societal issue that requires a societal response.

"Tackling male violence, gender inequality and misogyny require action at both ends of the spectrum; we must support survivors and we must hold perpetrators to account but we must also create genuine behaviour change. This is how we will combat the insidious and pervasive negative attitudes towards women that can manifest in acts like spiking.

"Working together as a united community, ensuring that we stop perpetrators from carrying out these heinous acts, we can all work together to make Wales the safest place in Europe to be a woman.”