Universities told to crack down on spiking after ‘brazen’ attacks on students

Universities are to be required to introduce policies by the end of the year to crack down on drink and needle spiking, amid concern about increasingly brazen attacks on students.

Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said she had seen the impact of spiking first-hand and that it was a horrific crime that she was determined to stamp out in higher education.

星期二, she launched a working group, made up of vice-chancellors, 警察, campaigners and victims, to spearhead plans for practical action to help keep students safe.

Although the true prevalence of spiking remains unclear, police data obtained by the Commons home affairs committee 说 81% of recorded victims were students, while a recent survey by the student news site the Tab suggested 11% of students believed they had had their drink spiked.

Donelan wants every university to bring in a dedicated policy to tackle spiking by the end of the year, including measures to ensure that all victims are recognised and supported.

“This is an issue that is very close to my heart, having had someone close to me spiked when I was younger, which had devastating consequences. So I know first-hand what a horrific crime this is and I am determined to stamp it out,“ 她说.

“Recent incidents show that perpetrators are becoming more brazen in the way they are committing this appalling crime – which is why I am tasking a new working group to look at the issue more closely and come up with practical actions to stamp out spiking at our universities.”

A number of institutions have already introduced measures so students are better protected, including the University of Exeter, which offers drink safety test strips, and Nottingham Trent University, which is putting on bystander intervention training for staff in night-time city venues.

The government hopes that closer working between universities and police will help provide a clearer picture of the scale and nature of attacks on students, and is also considering the case for a specific criminal offence for spiking.

Prof Lisa Roberts, vice-chancellor of Exeter University, who will lead the new working group, 说: “Everybody has the right to be safe and enjoy their night out with friends without the fear of spiking or violence.

“As chair of the new working group I will work with partners to look at the evidence, best practice and incidents across the UK so that we can make practical recommendations to improve the night-time economy for students.”

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