Spiking Reports 2018 to 2021 & Toxicology Screening Incl Guidelines
Date Rape; Inject; Injection; Spiking; Needle, Drugged; Toxicology; Screening; Positive;
Please note that this information is correct as at 05/11/2021 and may be subject to change. Essex Police aim to review and update this publication annually
As with all publications of information by Essex Police, please note caveats may apply regarding the accuracy of data.
FOI Reference Number
FOI 16362 Spiking Reports 2018 to 2021 & Toxicology Screening Incl Guidelines
01/01/2017 to 31/10/2021
1) Number of persons reporting they suspect to have been spiked
The numbers of all people reporting to your authority by any means they have been spiked/involuntarily drugged, regardless of whether this was verified later, in the timeframe between the 1st of January 2018 until the 28th of October 2021.
2) Number of those cases that have been supplemented with a toxicology screening The numbers of those cases that were later supplemented with a report of a toxicology screening, in the timeframe between the 1st of January 2018 until the 28th of October 2021.
3) Number of those cases that get supplemented with a positive toxicology screening The number of toxicology screens that return testing positive for any drug taken from patients that have reported they have been spiked/involuntarily drugged, in the timeframe between the 1st of January 2018 until the 28th of October 2021.
4) The guidelines for the police staff regarding the treatment of persons that report to have been spiked/involuntarily drugged
a) The exact procedure that police officers and all other employees of the Essex Police must follow when a case of suspected spiking is reported to them, including the exact authority or body that victims are referred to , or told to report to, for a toxicology screening.
b) If applicable, all versions of the internal guidelines by the Essex Police or other bodies that govern the Essex Police’s procedures that cover the treatment of suspected spiking victims, the referral policy for a toxicology screening and their referral to other services, dating back to the earliest time the phenomenon of spiking has appeared in the guidelines to the best of your knowledge.
5) The proceeding for toxicology screenings for suspected cases of spiking Information on whether the Essex Police has the resources to perform a toxicology screening for suspected victims of spiking internally, and if so, which department is responsible to perform those.
6) Number of cases of suspected spiking that are further investigated, and number of the cases that are closed, and the reasons why Out of all reported incidents of spiking, regardless of supplemented with a toxicology screening or not, the number of those that have been further investigated, and the number of those that have been closed, in the timeframe between the 1st of January 2018 until the 28th of October 2021. In the case of closed cases, the outcome of the investigative assessment.
7) Number of cases of suspected spiking that referred for prosecution The number of all cases of suspected spiking/involuntary drugging that are referred to the relevant authorities for further prosecution, in the timeframe between the 1st of January 2018 until the 28th of October 2021.
Having completed enquiries within Essex Police in respect of Section 1(1)(a), Essex Police does hold information relating to your request, however, the obligation of Section 1(1)(b) cannot be met as Essex Police does not hold all the information requested in a format that allows it to be retrieved within the time and cost limits of FOI.
When responding to a request for information under the terms of the FOIA, a public authority is not obliged to provide information if the authority estimates that the cost of the retrieval of the information requested would be in excess of £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work). The costs criteria relates to a request in its entirety, which means that if we cannot retrieve all of the information requested within the costs limit, we are not obliged to retrieve any of the information requested.
Section 12(1) of the FOIA states that a public authority is not obliged to:
“…comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.”
The following explanation outlines the difficulty Essex Police has in answering your request:
Essex Police are unable to accurately extract the level of detail in relation to your request on toxicology in respect of Questions 2, 3, 5 & 6 from our current systems. Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not primarily for the production of statistical information for FOI responses. Essex Police do not routinely record data on toxicology screening in a format which is able to be searched. To establish if information is held would mean a manual review of each assault record held to determine whether toxicology was appropriate, whether it had been carried out and any results – all of which would form a larger part of the general investigation against that original spiking offence. This would therefore, exceed the time and cost limits under the FOIA and would qualify as the creation of data as the results cannot be processed by means of purely sorting or filtering data sources or running a database query tool. There is no requirement under the act to create data purely to answer FOI requests.
Consequently and to this extent, Essex Police are exempt from the duty to provide information you have requested under the provisions of Section 12(1) of the FOIA. Therefore, and in accordance with Section 17(1) of the FOIA, this communication must act as a refusal notice to provide all of the information that could be interpreted as being captured by this part of your request.
Having said that and in an effort to assist, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the FOIA, Essex Police can confirm the following in respect of Question 1, 4 & 7:
Caveat: The data is correct as at 05/11/2021.
In respect of Injection Spiking the following applies:
A data search has been conducted to search for all reports with an initial MO containing any of the following words within the text ‘DATE RAPE’ AND ‘NEEDLE’ OR ‘DATE RAPE’ AND ‘INJECT’ OR ‘SPIKE’ AND ‘NEEDLE’ OR ‘SPIKE’ AND ‘INJECT’ and this yielded:
One live investigation in 2021.
Zero results for needle or physical spiking reports for any previous dates starting from 01/01/2017.
In respect of Drink Spiking the following applies:
The report has an Initial MO containing any of the following words within the text: 'SPIKE', 'DATE RAPE', 'DRUGGED'
The number of victims by gender and outcome data are set out below:
NOTE - Total victims/suspects by gender will NOT match the total volume of crime reports as some reports will contain multiple suspects. There are also some data quality issues with the gender field with this sometimes not being completed.
Type 1 - Charged/Summonsed/Postal Requisition
Type 1A - Charged/Summons - alternate offence. Offender has been charged under the alternate offence rule.
Type 3 - Caution Adult
Type 8 - Community resolution (Crime)
Type 10 - Formal Action Against Offender is not in the Public Interest (Police)
Type 12 - Prosecution Prevented-Named Suspect Identified But Is Too Ill (Physical Or Mental Health) To Prosecute
Type 13 - Prosecution Prevented-Named Suspect Identified But Victim Or Key Witness Is Dead Or Too Ill To Give Evidence
Type 14 - Evidential Difficulties Victim Based- Suspect Not Identified: Crime Confirmed But The Victim Either Declines Or Unable To Support Further Police Investigation To Identify The Offender
Type 15 - Named Suspect Identified: Victim Supports Police Action But Evidential Difficulties Prevent Further Action
Type 16 - Named Suspect Identified: Evidential Difficulties Prevent Further Action: Victim Does Not Support (Or Has Withdrawn Support From) Police Action
Type 18 - Investigation Complete; No Suspect Identified. Crime Investigated As Far As Reasonably Possible-Case Closed Pending Further Investigative Opportunities Becoming Available
Type 20 - Further action resulting from the crime report will be undertaken by another body or agency subject to the victim (or person acting on their behalf) being made aware of the act to be taken
Type 21 - Further investigation resulting from crime report which could provide evidence sufficient to support formal action against the suspect is not in the public interest - police decision.
Type 22 - Diversionary, educational or intervention activity, resulting from the crime report, has been undertaken and it is not in the public interest to take any further action.
Essex Police carry out standard incident response, crime recording and investigation in all matters as and when relevant, there are no additional guidelines in respect of spiking offences, over and above standard policing practice.
Essex Police have provided outcome data above as we do not hold conviction data.
In respect of the above data, the results have been provided as a result of keyword search, please note, any keyword search may not be entirely accurate as results are based on the terminology used within the investigation report therefore any results will include the possibility of inaccurate and misleading data.
Every effort is made to ensure that the data provided by Essex Police is accurate and complete. However, Essex Police systems are designed primarily for the management of individual cases and not for the purposes of providing data to answer specific FOI enquiries. Please note although data can be extracted from a number of sources via database queries, the results may be subject to inaccuracies. Care should be taken to understand our return when considering the interpretation or further use of the data.
The data in respect of convictions are held by the courts, recorded by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS). You may wish to approach them directly.