Ahead of a government announcement on modernising spiking laws made yesterday, on Friday, 15 December, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, and Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Jason Hogg, welcomed Home Secretary, the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, and Laura Farris MP, Minister for Victims and Safeguarding, to Windsor to discuss the work Thames Valley Police is doing to tackle violence against women and girls
Matthew Barber said “I was pleased to welcome the Home Secretary to Windsor and, together with the Chief Constable, have the opportunity to showcase some of the great work that Thames Valley Police is doing to tackle violence against women and girls in the night time economy through Project Vigilant, as well as supporting venues that participate in the national Ask for Angela initiative.
“I welcome the Government’s commitment to update the law around spiking. Spiking is a crime that significantly impacts victims, both women and men.
“I support any plans which will improve awareness and prevention of spiking in the night time economy. The new measures announced by the Government include investment to develop drink testing kits and training for venue staff to spot the signs of spiking and potential perpetrators. An online tool will also be rolled out to all police forces to make it easier for people to report instances of spiking. Taken together, these will increase the likelihood of incidents being detected and convictions being secured.”
Project Vigilant uses a combination of uniformed and plain clothed officers to carry out patrols in areas outside night clubs, bars and pubs, to identify people who may be displaying signs of predatory behaviour such as sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and loitering. Since its implementation, Thames Valley Police has trained officers in other forces to deliver the programme.
The Government plan to clarify under the Criminal Justice Bill that without any doubt, spiking is illegal. It will be backed with separate guidance, set in law, to provide a clear, unequivocal definition of what spiking is and enforce that perpetrators will face up to 10 years behind bars.