Gardaí find no evidence of needle-spiking despite 39 complaints

Gardaí find no evidence of needle-spiking despite 39 complaints

A #TakeBackTheSpike rally was held at the UCC Quad in November. Picture: Gavin Browne

Gardaí received almost 40 reports of alleged ‘spiking by injection’ cases in 2021 but they have not yet found evidence confirming substances were injected by possible assailants.

The development follows a statement by Police Scotland at the end of last week that no cases of spiking by injection had been identified by them to date.

Gardaí have stressed, as have police in Britain, that they treat any reports seriously and will investigate them properly.

There was significant speculation on social media last year about injection spiking after a large number of women said they had received unexplained puncture or pin-prick marks on their bodies after attending clubs, and reported feeling disorientated.

The incidents together with reports of drinks being spiked led to campaigns, including in colleges here, to highlight the risks to female students and women socialising in general.

Senior politicians in Ireland, and in Britain, raised concerns at the reports of spiking by injection, before any had been confirmed.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Garda HQ said: “An Garda Síochána has confirmed that it has received a number of reports (39 in total), relating to allegations of ‘spiking by injections’, specifically during the last quarter of 2021.” It said there had been no reports so far this year.

“An Garda Síochána has taken all these reports seriously and investigations are ongoing to determine the exact nature of each incident.

“While investigations continue, to date, An Garda Síochána has not determined conclusively that any reported incident of potential ‘drug spiking’ was as a direct result of ‘spiking by injection’.” The statement said An Garda Síochána continued to engage with partner agencies, such as the HSE, the HPSC (Health Protection Surveillance Centre) and the HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) in monitoring the current reporting of these matters for any identified patterns.

It said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on behalf of other agencies but understands that this pattern has not been identified by medical professionals at this time.” Health sources have also told the Irish Examiner that there have not been any reports from hospitals or other centres regarding any drugs being present in suspected spiking by injection cases.

The Garda statement said they continued to advise any victim of any form of drug spiking to come forward and contact gardaí.

It further said that advice on drink spiking and related public health issues can be found on the HSE website.


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