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Spiking in Nightclubs

Volume 706: debated on Wednesday 12 January 2022

7. What progress the Government have made on their response to young women being spiked by injection in nightclubs. (905021)

The abhorrent crimes of spiking also speak to broader issues of violence against women and girls, which is taken extremely seriously by this Government. The Home Secretary has already asked the National Police Chiefs’ Council to urgently review the extent and scale of the issue, and she is receiving regular updates from the police. The hon. Lady will know that we are delivering a pilot £5 million safety of women at night fund, which focuses on preventing violence against women and girls in the night-time economy, keeping them safe in public spaces at night.

Many girls and women are afraid of enjoying a night out or going to a music festival for fear of being spiked, raped and assaulted. What work is the Minister doing with venues such as bars, nightclubs and music festivals to prevent that from happening and to ensure that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place, and what is the assessment of the scale of the problem at those venues?

The hon. Lady raises a really good point. Those in the night-time economy play a key role and are taking their responsibilities seriously. The Government work very closely with them, and we are providing funding and helping them provide training to their staff so that women can feel safe at night. It is vital that the funding we are providing is being used by local authorities to provide, for example, testing kits and taxi marshals to get women home safely at night. Police are also ramping up their forensic capabilities. There is a lot of work going on.