The government’s inquiry into spiking shows they really are clueless

‘Back in my day we used to think spiking was just something that happened in James Bond movies or by Bulgarian spies’

This morning, the Home Affairs Committee begun their public inquiry into spiking. Their meeting heard from three victims of spiking, one of whom – Zara Owen – is a student at the University of Nottingham.

The meeting’s agenda was to target specific ways the government could take action to help prevent spiking and support victims. However, when speaking to the victims, it became abundantly clear that the government clearly don’t know enough.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who attended the meeting, summarised his lack of knowledge when he said the following: “Back in my day we used to think spiking was just something that happened in James Bond movies or by Bulgarian spies”.

As most young people are very aware, spiking is not a part of school curriculum, yet the government also asked the victims whether they had been taught about spiking at school. Zara Owen replied the following: “It’s always something I’ve known about but I can’t remember being taught about it, no.”

The main concern that Zara highlighted was the changing nature of spiking. After being spiked via injection herself, she said that more knowledge was needed in order to prevent this happening to others.

Tim Loughton also asked, “Why do they do it? Why are people doing it if not for a clear criminal gain?” – a question one would hope the government should at least be a little clued up on.

Zara replied, “frankly I don’t know. For kicks, it seems. It’s sadistic.”

The three victims also highlighted the lack of support available for reporting the event. Out of the three, only Zara reported the spiking – although the case was left unsolved.

They unanimously agreed that an anonymous report service online would be the best option.

Alexi Skitkinis, a victim of spiking said that he felt it’s something that’s very difficult to report. “You just feel as though you don’t want to waste police time”, he said. “You feel like you need to be absolutely certain it happened and have evidence otherwise you’ll be dismissed and not acknowledged.

“It’s about building confidence in victims and that’s what our government need to focus on.”

Zara added that a main concern when reporting the event is not to “victim blame” and felt this was something the government needed to work on.

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