Words: Eva O’Beirne
“We need to develop a response to spiking, but we are missing important data and need your help.”
Safe Gigs Ireland has developed a “Spiking Hub” on their website in response to an increase in reports of spiking across Ireland, the UK and Europe. The survey will gather experiences of spiking in Ireland and the responses victims received from venues, health care professionals and family and friends. Safe Gigs Ireland will then use survey responses to develop a guide for venues when dealing with spiking.
Gardaí recently stated in January that there was no evidence that confirmed reports of spiking by needle, despite individuals coming forward on social media and photographic evidence of the prick marks by needles in the victims’ skin. It seems that time and time again, the responsibility of safety in nightlife settings falls to individuals to protect themselves, which feeds into the cycle of victim-blaming. But Safe Gigs Ireland wishes to combat this issue.
Sage Gigs Ireland said in their Instagram post: “We all know that spiking is happening. Yet according to official figures, there were only 46 reports of spiking last year – nearly half of these were needle spiking, but Gardaí say there is ‘no evidence of needle spiking.'”
According to recent figures from An Garda Síochána, 73 incidents of spiking by needle or drink were reported between October 1, 2021, and February 14, 2022. Of those incidents, 19 were reported between January 1 and February 14 alone.
In February, University College Cork and their students’ union released a general warning before RAG week to caution students about spiking. The union is looking into supplying drinks covers to students in order to combat the issue. Representatives from UCCSU has noted that during one week there were five reports of spiking alone.
To contribute to the survey, click here.
Elsewhere n District: Spiking in Ireland is on the rise and it needs to be tackled. Now.