December 17, 2021 11.56 am This story is over 23 months old

Drink spiking reports surge 850% in Lincolnshire this year

Police say it’s due to “extensive media coverage”

More than half of the drink spiking reports in Lincolnshire this year happened in Lincoln itself in just one month of 2021.

Information obtained by a Freedom of Information request by The Lincolnite found Lincolnshire Police received 38 reports of drink spiking in the county in 2021, an 850% increase from the four received in 2020.

Of this 38, 33 of them were reported in Lincoln, and 20 of those were from the month of October, when drink spiking became a prevalent topic after police issued safety advice when three women were taken ill in Lincoln city centre.

The incidents in Lincoln in October account for 52% of drink spiking reports in the whole county for the year up to December.

Data shows there were five more reports of drink spiking in Lincoln in October 2021, than there were in the whole of Lincolnshire in 2019, when there were 15 incidents.

On October 24, The Lincolnite published a story stating Lincolnshire Police had received reports of eight drink spiking incidents in Lincoln that month, meaning a further 12 reports must have been made to the force in the last week of October.

Comparatively, a similar Freedom of Information request was submitted to Humberside Police to see drink spiking statistics in North and North East Lincolnshire.

In these areas, the Humberside force reported 13 cases of drink spiking in 2021, the same figure as in 2020 and two less than in 2019.

October was again the most prominent month for the North and North East sections of the county, with four reports in October 2021.

As well as this, there were three reports of spiking through means of needle or injection in North and North East Lincolnshire this year – one each in September, October and November, when media attention was heightened.

A total of 67.5% of drink spiking reports to Humberside Police in these areas were from females aged between 17 and 40, compared to just 22.5% of males.

A nighttime industry boycott took place in Lincoln on October 27 to raise awareness of the topic of drink spiking, joining people across the country not attending bars or nightclubs in solidarity with those who were spiked.

During that month, The Lincolnite contacted numerous bars and nightclubs across Lincoln to see what measures they had introduced to prevent drink spiking or to correctly take action against it.

Most utilise the Ask for Angela scheme, as well as using drink toppers and testing kits to check if a drink has been spiked. Read their responses in full here.

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police said: “The issue of spiking has seen an increase specifically from October. During this month we were very proactive in warning and informing the public and our two press releases generated extensive media coverage in Lincoln.

“We believe we may be getting more reports as a result of our highlighting of the issue. We welcome increased awareness and reporting and we want anyone who suspects they may have been a victim to come forward.

“We will continue to work with the night time economy and encourage them take every opportunity to keep their customers safe.”