Keir Starmer says a Labour government would make spiking a specific offence

This ‘would make it easier for people to come forward and report what’s happened’, he says

Labour would make spiking a specific offence, the party’s leader Keir Starmer has said.

Starmer criticised the government for refusing to create a new law, something MPs and campaigners have been calling for for some time. Making spiking a specific offence would help victims come forward as well as making it easier to prosecute perpetrators, he argued.

On ITV’s This Morning today, Starmer said: “Drinks are spiked, usually of young women out and about, and the spiking of the drink has an effect on them and is often a step towards sexual assault of some sort.

“And that has never been a specific offence, so what I’m saying today is an incoming Labour government would make it a specific offence.

“That would make it easier for people to come forward and report what’s happened and easier to prosecute but also raise awareness of what’s going on.”

Currently, spiking is covered by several different areas of the law, but there isn’t one single specific offence under which perpetrators can be prosecuted.

In January, the government ruled out making a specific law against spiking, saying this would be “unnecessary”. “The existing offences cover all methods of spiking, including by drink, needle, vape, cigarette, food or any other known form”, a spokesperson said.

There were almost 5,00 alleged drink or needle spiking incidents reported to police in England and Wales in the year from September 2021 – September 2022, National Police Chiefs’ Council figures show.

“Women should not have to live in fear that, when they go out, their drink may be spiked, or that they may be injected with a harmful substance. It is a pernicious, dangerous and hateful crime, and Labour will punish it as such”, Starmer said.

“With Labour, those who abuse women, verbally, physically, virtually, will feel the full force of the justice system.”

Featured image overlay via Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock; background via Sam Moghadam Khamseh/Unsplash

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