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'Worrying increase' in spiking incidents reported to gardaí as figures nearly double

The government will repeat its awareness campaign this year.

THERE HAS BEEN a “worrying increase” in the number of spiking incidents reported to the gardaí, according to Justice Minister Simon Harris. 

Figures show that last year, cases nearly doubled, with 106 cases of spiking reported to the authorities. This compares to 62 cases reported in 2021. 

Just 12 cases of spiking were reported in 2020.

“These figures do show a worrying increase in the number of spiking offences reported to An Garda Siochana. We know they do not show the full picture either as many people do not report these crimes, or do not know that they have been victim of this crime,” Harris told The Journal.

“Last year, Minister McEntee and I did roll out an awareness campaign with student leaders and members of An Garda Siochana. We will continue that campaign this year.

“We want everyone – from those working in pubs and nightclubs to those going out at night – to be aware of the signs and to take actions when concerned.

“It is important that everyone has the tools to act if you are targeted by this crime or a witness to it,” he said.

“Spiking is a criminal act. It can lead to a three year prison term. Anyone who witnesses this crime or is a victim of it is encouraged to contact An Garda Siochana,” said the minister. 

Sinn Féín’s Mark Ward told the Dáil this week that very often spiking cases go unreported. He called for the awareness campaign to be rolled out to staff in pubs and nightclubs, as well as student unions, so that people can become aware of the issue.

Harris said it is “absolutely horrific” when spiking happens to people.

He said it is very important that people are aware of it and that people in the industry are aware of their responsibilities around the issue.

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