Drink spiking at house parties is becoming “big concern” for police in England according to a team leading research into the crime.
Speaking to BBC’s Newsbeat, Sgt Dave Moore from Devon and Cornwall Police – the team which leads on tackling drink spiking across the country – says the problem has become worse.
“You naturally assume everybody there knows everybody so you can wrongly think it’s a safe environment,” he told Newsbeat.
“There’s no bar staff to pour drinks, someone can go get a drink and pop something in there because there’s no CCTV.
“And when someone starts to feel unwell, all the perpetrator has to do is say: ‘I know them, I’ll take them home.'”
Officers for the team also said that drink spiking is also more common at festivals – where cameras and security staff can provide less coverage than in pubs or clubs.
According to the BBC, figures show that even in 2019, figures on drink spiking has risen considerably since 2019, with 2600 recorded cases.
Their research was backed by The Alcohol Education Trust who say they’re hearing an anecdotal rise in drink spiking happening in places that don’t have CCTV or security staff.
The charity, who speak to more than 25,000 young people every year, say over half the spiking instances they hear about happen in places where people’s guards are down.
The charity’s CEO Helena Conibear told Newsbeat: “Most people we talk to, their spiking incidents have happened at house parties and festivals. It’s not necessarily in bars and clubs, perhaps because people know they’re more likely to be caught there.”
“We get a lot more contact during Freshers’ Week, a time when young people are vulnerable, because they’ve moved away from home and aren’t with close friends,” she says.
“But it’s not always stranger danger,” she added.
NME has reached out to Devon and Cornwall police for comment.