Gardaí receive 25 reports of needle 'spiking' this year

An additional 21 cases which do not specify the method of spiking bring the total to 46 – an average of one every week to date in 2021
Gardaí receive 25 reports of needle 'spiking' this year

Reports of women being spiked with needles or syringes in bars and nightclubs were described as a “growing and worrying phenomenon” by Higher Education Minister Simon Harris earlier this month.

At least 25 incidents involving people being drugged or “spiked” with a needle have been reported to An Garda Síochána so far this year.

Reports of women being spiked with needles or syringes in bars and nightclubs were described as a “growing and worrying phenomenon” by Higher Education Minister Simon Harris earlier this month.

He noted that “quite a few cases” had occurred in the United Kingdom, and warned that it was now “very much beginning to take a hold here”.

New figures from the Garda PULSE system show that 25 incidents in which a victim is alleged to have been spiked with drugs in this manner were recorded up to November 21 this year.

There were a further 21 cases of spiking during the same period, which either related to drink spiking or the particular method used to surreptitiously administer drugs, which were not recorded on PULSE.

The additional cases bring the total number of reported spiking incidents to 46 – an average of one every week to date in 2021.

The statistics were revealed by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North-Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan.

“Spiking a person’s drink or spiking someone by injection are obviously very serious offences,” said Ms McEntee. “They are, in effect, poisoning and they are criminal offences… that can result in a three-year prison term.

“Twenty-five of these incidents specifically refer to syringes or needles. The remaining 21 either refer to drink spiking or do not specify the method of spiking,” she explained.

Earlier this month, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris announced that an awareness campaign would be launched regarding the threat of people being spiked with drugs in bars and nightclubs.

An Garda Síochána has advised any victims of “drug spiking” to report such incidents to local gardaí.

“Any incident of this type of crime (assault/sexual assault), including those with evidence to suggest a link with ‘spiking’ will be investigated by either local gardaí supported by or attached to Divisional Proactive Services Units,” said a spokesman.

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