Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has called for a zero-tolerance approach towards drink spiking, following increased reports of people being drugged on nights out.
Monica wrote to the Scottish Government to query how it is supporting Police Scotland and entertainment venues to investigate and stamp out drink spiking and spiking by injection and has welcomed a written response from the Justice Secretary Keith Brown MSP confirming that action is being taken to probe the reported increase in spiking, including a roundtable summit to explore with agencies and industry representatives how public safety can be safeguarded.
Monica said: “Drink spiking is a despicable crime and any reports of increased incidents must be taken seriously. Unfortunately, we still see reports of drink spiking during and after university and college freshers’ weeks, and the pattern is normally predatory men targeting women.
“Across Lanarkshire and Falkirk there is a significant student population, including Hamilton which is a university town. It’s not only students and young people who are targeted. As a Central Scotland MSP I want to see effective and visible co-operation between venues and the police to keep people safe.
“That’s why I welcome the Justice Secretary responding to my concerns. While public information campaigns and venue safety measures are important, the responsibility lies with perpetrators to stop hurting people.
“We know that women are most likely to be the victims of spiking, usually at the hands of men. There needs to be a zero-tolerance approach. Women should be able to have a night out without fearing for their safety.”
Responding to Monica, Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “The act of ‘spiking’ women is absolutely abhorrent, and the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to working with partners to tackle this unacceptable behaviour.
“I chaired an urgent roundtable with partners and representatives from across the sector on Thursday 4 November, including from police and industry, to discuss how we can achieve the right balance of targeted and universal intervention to ensure the safety of the public.”
Notes to editor:
1.SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WRITTEN ANSWER
4 November 2021
Index Heading: Education and Justice
Monica Lennon (Central Scotland) (Scottish Labour Party): To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting the police and industry to eradicate drink spiking and spiking by injection to ensure safety in nightclubs and other social settings.
Keith Brown: The act of ‘spiking’ women is absolutely abhorrent and the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to working with partners to tackle this unacceptable behaviour.
I chaired an urgent roundtable with partners and representatives from across the sector on Thursday 4 November, including from police and industry, to discuss how we can achieve the right balance of targeted and universal intervention to ensure the safety of the public.
Our Equally Safe Strategy sets out Scotland’s ambition to tackle and eradicate all forms of violence against women and we will continue to implement this with a clear and decisive focus on primary prevention of violence. We are dedicating resources to tackling attitudes and inequality within every space for women and girls.