This is what West Midlands Police are doing to help combat drink spikings

We spoke to the police to after increased reports of spikings in the city centre and campus

The Birmingham Tab spent a Friday night with the police and assisted their patrols around the city centre to see what measures they have in place to combat spiking and safety around the city centre.

From attending police briefings, to visiting the Birmingham Safe Space, there are lots of measures being put in place to help combat spiking and ensuring students feel safe on a night out.

We spoke to medics, police, licencees and Tom McNeil, assistant crime commissioner for the West Midlands, to ensure student’s concerns are raised and proactive measures are being put in place.

The Birmingham safe space

WM Police are transparent with their figures on confirmed reports of spiking, and publish it weekly to their website.

In the week 10th-14th November, there were 19 reports of spiking in Birmingham, with 15 confirmed drinks spikings, three needle spikings and one unknown. You can find the link to any updates here.

Figures for the week 10th-14th November

DI Ben Arrowsmith told The Birmingham Tab: “If you do think you have been spiked, you are a victim. We feel that some students may feel apprehensive about reporting to the police whether it be lack of trust or whether they have been taking recreational drugs for example.”

“Although our test kits do also test for substances like Cocaine and Marijuana, the purpose is to find what drug you have been spiked with, not to prosecute you.”

Arrowsmith acknowledges that there are barriers to reporting crimes, particularly for students.

He told The Birmingham Tab: “I want to reassure the community that we treat every report fairly and equally, with no judgement. As with any crime, it is best to report as soon as possible, so we can gather the best possible evidence.”

Attending a city centre night briefing

Reporting a crime can seem like a daunting process. To combat this, WM Police have various ways of reporting a crime of any nature through:

A live-chat service is available on the WM Police website from 8am to Midnight everyday.

Or to remain anonymous you can ring Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111. 

Alternatively call 101 anytime to speak to someone directly.

WM Police informed us that reporting any offence within the first 12 hours from it taking place has a greater chance of being solved. However any offence registered with the police is logged and DI Arrowsmith wanted to emphasise that all crimes are investigated regardless of when reported.

As well as speaking to the police, we also assisted patrols on Friday night around the city centre.

McNeil and Arrowsmith

Daily briefings are conducted with licensees, security, medics and police staff where priorities are discussed for the night and venues are reminded of their responsibility to look out and care for members of the public. 

This ensures that the training is standardised across forces so that incidents can be dealt with as smoothly as possible. 

From our findings, there is still a long way to go to tackle these issues, however important steps are being taken to prevent such crimes and to also provide victim support. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Here’s what the University of Birmingham are doing to promote women’s safety on campus

• Birmingham student’s club safety petition gains more than 1,500 signatures

• Birmingham student had to go to intensive care after being ‘spiked by a needle’ on night out