Northumbria Police vow to clampdown on rising cases of drink and needle spiking
Police chiefs have reaffirmed their commitment to ensure the region remains a safe place to enjoy a night out after fears have been raised about reports of an increase in people being spiked.
The message comes as Northumbria Police confirmed a rise in reports of drink spiking in recent weeks and a small number of needle spiking incidents.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison said: “We recognise and understand the concerns these issues generate and I want to reassure people we are committed to playing our part to ensure our region remains one of the safest to enjoy a night out.
“This includes working with partners, including local authorities, businesses, licensees, door supervisors, hotel staff and taxi drivers, so we can all come together to help keep people safe.
“In addition, we deploy a Safe Haven van at weekends with officers and St John’s Ambulance staff on hand for further assistance.
“In 2019, we launched Operation Cloak, an initiative which sees dedicated officers on patrol in our night-time economy to protect those who may be vulnerable and target anyone looking to commit offences.
“This scheme was the first of its kind and has now been rolled-out elsewhere in our region and in other parts of the country.”
Assistant Chief Constable Hutchison added: “I want to make it clear that we take all reports of this nature very seriously.
“As a Force, we will investigate every report we receive and are committed to working with and supporting victims.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, is also concerned about the apparent trend, particularly against women.
She said: “Anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to poison women - because that’s what drink-spiking is - must be challenged and brought to justice. And so I welcome all the work that is happening by dedicated officers patrolling the busy nightlife of our towns and cities.
"Operations like this are there to protect those who are vulnerable and also to target anyone looking to commit offences.
"If you’re ever concerned for the welfare of someone – reporting your concerns is absolutely the right thing to do. We’re one of the safest places in the country to enjoy a night out and Northumbria Police and I want to do everything we can to keep it that way.”