Today, Judith questioned the Prime Minister on his ‘unsound’ position on the current laws covering spiking.
As the law currently stands, Spiking can be prosecuted under seven different laws. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) told the Home Affairs Select Committee that ‘the absence of a clear criminal offence presented a challenge in policing spiking’.
In 2022, former Home Secretary Priti Patel stated that the Government were looking into "a specific criminal offence to target spiking directly."
However, in January, the Home Office carried out a ‘U-turn’ when Home Office Minister Sarah Dines said that a specific law on spiking was ‘unnecessary.’
Evidence seen by the Home Affairs Select Committee shows that spiking is commonplace, with a shocking 15% of women and 7% of men saying they have had been spiked.
The Government were legally required to publish its report on spiking by April 2023, but they have so far failed to do so. In giving their reasons for their delay, the Government argued that they were once again rethinking whether a law on spiking is needed.
Challenging the Prime Minister in Parliament, Judith said:
"The Government failed on their legal duty to publish a report on Spiking by April, stating that they were reconsidering ‘whether their rationale for not introducing a specific offence for spiking was sound."
Judith went on to ask:
"Will the Prime Minister clarify when and if this spiking report will ever be published, and does he agree with me and colleagues right across this house that the only ‘sound’ approach to this issue is to create a specific criminal offence for spiking?"
Responding, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the issue ‘had been reviewed’:
"My latest understanding is that the existing laws did cover the offence of spiking, but of course I am happy to ensure she gets a letter which explains this position.”
Following the exchange, Judith said:
"Spiking is under-reported and under-prosecuted. The law is confusing and outdated, and we desperately need a new law on spiking that is fit for the 21st Century."
"Instead of shirking obligations, the Prime Minister must ensure that the vital and well overdue report on spiking is published as soon as possible."
"Making this disgusting crime a specific offence under law would increase convictions and help keep people – especially women and girls – safe."