Victims Zara Owen, Hannah Stratton and Alexi Skitinis called for a reform to the way attacks are reported, proposing an anonymous online system to make reporting incidents easier.
All three added that they were confused by the motives of “sadistic” perpetrators, believing most are spiking people “for fun”.
Stratton also called for an end to placing the onus on victims to protect themselves while on nights out, saying there needs to be “a much greater understanding of why perpetrators are doing it”.
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A second panel of experts laid bare the shocking prevalence of spiking reports, with Conibear noting that data from 23 police forces shows a doubling of reports over the past year, to 1,400 incidents.
She added that reporting levels remain low, with one survey showing that only around 8 per cent of victims are coming forward to police – meaning the level of spiking is likely much higher than reporting data shows.
Evidence suggests that spiking is happening in all manner of locations and to every demographic, Conibear said, though the highest prevalence (14 per cent) is in the 24-49 age group.
Dawn Dines of anti-spiking campaign group Stamp Out Spiking said there was a lack of awareness among the public, police and even emergency responders around how spiking happens and how best to respond to it.
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This has led to victims feeling “humiliated and embarrassed”, fearing that “people won’t believe them” when they share their stories, Dines said.
The spate of attacks is being driven by the fact that “perpetrators know they can get away with it”, Conibear told the committee.
Dines, along with other panelists, said greater public and police awareness of spiking, more comprehensive data on drink spiking attacks and a “focus on the consequences of being a spiker” will all be needed to tackle the epidemic of attacks and give victims greater confidence in their ability to report incidents.