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11 reports of drink and needle spiking in six days

Police have revealed that there were 11 reports of spiking in the West Midlands in a six-day period.

Drink and injection spiking incidents were reported to police across the region, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell.

The alleged incidents happened between November 15 and November 26.

Read more: Extra police patrols in Worcestershire during festive period amid spiking fears

West Midlands Police are working with bars to help them spot spiking victims and potential culprits.

A statement said: “We recognise that drink spiking is a big concern for communities and we’re still working really hard to develop our understanding of spiking in the West Midlands.

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“We are working closely with bars, pubs and clubs to tackle drink spiking as well as councils, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and universities.

“We want to make sure that people working in bars, pubs and clubs know how to correctly support a victim of drink spiking and the way to report it.

“We’re absolutely clear that we do not tolerate drink spiking at all. Individuals who are going out intending to behave in this way will be found and will be stopped.”

This week, the forces has launched a Safer Streets campaign, where they are asking men to be up-standers for women’s safety – not a bystander to intimidation and violence.

The wider Safer Streets campaign also includes police operations to spot and deal with potential male perpetrators as well as better education for young men on respecting women and girls.

West Midlands Police added: “We want people to feel safe and be safe on a night out. We’re still working closely with bars and others to improve safety and people will see that from the extra searches and ID checks that security staff are carrying out.

“Last Friday (November 19) we went out in Birmingham to see the measures that premises like Snobs have put in place to keep their customers safe.

“Snobs have drink testing strips available for anyone who thinks their drink may have been tampered with, bottle stops and caps for cups.

BrumWish 2021 aims to get thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, kids in care and kids who have little.

This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we have teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, the Birmingham Playcare Network, the Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.

Also involved are Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s children’s charity, the Springfield project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food hubs in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.

You can buy a gift from the #Brumwish Amazon Wishlist here.

Or you can collect and drop off donations of new and nearly new toys and gifts to special donation days at Edgbaston Stadium, B5 7QU, on Saturday November 27, Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, from 11am to 3pm, where volunteers will be waiting to see you.

Brand new or nearly new, unwrapped gifts, books and toys for all ages will be accepted.

You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to use to plug gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to make a donation.

“They’re also using metal detecting wands on everyone prior to entry. Other clubs have introduced similar measures too.

“The exact picture around drink spiking and spiking by injection remains unclear, and that’s why we investigate every report.

“Our multidrug test kits continue to help people who’ve been spiked get the answers they need, fast.”

They continued: “Between November 15 and November 21, we investigated 11 reports of people being spiked with drugs. 91% (10) of the offences involved drinks being spiked, with one victim reporting they were injected by a needle. Our rapid multi-drug test kits were used nine times over this period.”

Of those reported, seven were tested negative. One test was positive for buprenorphine which a prescription drug taken as a replacement in the treatment of heroin and methadone dependence. The person who was tested told us they had not used drugs and our investigation into this incident is ongoing.

The results from one test are still pending. Two people were not tested, with one leaving the scene without providing a sample, and the other person reported what happened to another force.

One person reported being spiked by a needle – no drugs were detected in their system.

“The sooner we and bar staff hear about cases like this, the better, as it gives us the best possible chance of securing evidence and bringing people to justice,”West Midlands Police said.

They added: “All of our officers know that our drug tests kits are only to be used to detect drugs used in spiking cases.

“We will never use them to take action against people who may have taken drugs recreationally.

“Spiking is a serious crime and the use of recreational drugs does not change that – we would always refer those people who have taken drugs to health organisations that can help them change their habits.

“Remember: 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 on our website.

“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.”

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