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Spiking hits record highs in NSW

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Drink spiking is illegal across Australia, yet reports have hit record-breaking highs in the country's most populated state. Here's why
Drink spiking in Australia

NSW Police received a record number of food and drink spiking reports in the last year, according to new data.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) said between July 2022 and June 2023, 220 spiking incidents were reported to police.

BOCSAR told TDA this was the most reports of spiking since police began recording incidents in 2008.

Drink spiking in Australia

Spiking is the unlawful practice of drugging another person’s drink or food without their consent.

Drink spiking is illegal in Australia, and carries a penalty of up to two years imprisonment in NSW.

Food and drink spiking in NSW was 20% higher in 2022/23 than the previous year.

Spiking reports have almost doubled since June 2019.

Where does drink spiking happen?

Almost half of spiking reports occurred in NSW’s biggest city centres – the Sydney CBD, Newcastle, Wollongong, and the Central Coast.

About 71% of incidents happened at a pub or club.

Very few spiking reports result in legal action being taken. Two of the 183 reports lodged in the 2021/22 financial year (1.1%) resulted in an immediate criminal proceeding.

Police response

NSW Police told TDA they believed the rise in spiking numbers was due to increased reporting “rather than necessarily an increase of actual drink spiking incidents”.

They said awareness campaigns targeting drink spiking have supported victims to come forward, and encouraged people to always be on the lookout for their drinks getting spiked.

They also said all drink spiking reports are “thoroughly investigated”.

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