The Scottish Government should act to make the law around spiking “more robust” as it “is not fit for the reality we face”, a Labour MSP has said.

Carol Mochan, MSP for South Scotland, made the call following the recent reports of women being spiked by injection in various nightclubs and bars across the country. The claims are currently being investigated by police.

Scottish Government records show that from 2018-2020, no one has been prosecuted for charges under crimes of ‘drugging’ or under section 11 of the sexual offences act which includes spiking. There is no specific offence for ‘drink spiking’ in Scotland.

Mochan said: “Reports of drink spiking and other attempts at sexual assault in pubs seem to be on the rise every year and other than advice about how women in particular can better avoid it, little seems to have been done.

“The law as it stands is not fit for the reality we face and I would like to see the Scottish Government prioritise making the law more robust to fit the variety of toxic practices people who do this are engaging in. We must support the police to catch these individuals and lay down a marker that if you think you can get away with this, then you are very wrong.”

Cumnock Chronicle:

Elena Whitham, SNP MSP for Cumnock, said: “I understand The Scottish Government is reviewing the current laws but I would wholeheartedly support measures to strengthen licensing regulations such as introducing rigorous training for those working in pubs and clubs to recognise and support victims but also in identifying those who embark on such heinous acts.”

The STAR Centre, an Ayrshire-based counselling service for victims of sexual violence, said spiking “certainly constitutes a real issue for women in Ayrshire, as their safety is yet again compromised by men’s violence”.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It is clear that more needs to be done to tackle the underlying root causes of these types of harmful behaviours predominantly carried out by men.

“We have set up a Working Group on Misogyny to consider whether a specific offence to tackle misogyny is needed. The Group, Chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, will report in February next year.”