TODAY, an Argus investigation reveals the shocking extent of drink spiking in the city.

A freedom of information request revealed 108 crimes related to spiking were recorded between January 1 and October 31 last year by Sussex Police.

Between January 1, 2016, and October 31, 2021, a total of 473 incidents involving spiking were recorded. Reports of drink spiking, and spiking by needle, young women on a night out allegedly being injected by unseen strangers, increased in the final few months of 2021.

After enduring months of limited socialising, with events called off and pubs closed, people deserve to be out having fun and making up for lost time. For some, however, socialising is now edged with anxiety and fear.

The sad reality is spiking fits into the larger picture of street harassment that has become routine for women. Catcalling, wolf whistling, street harassment, non-consensual touching are just some of things they are forced to endure on a daily basis. Women are sick of being told to be more vigilant, to watch their drinks and to stick together, when the root of the problem is male violence,.

Spiking remains hard to prosecute while women are also reluctant to go to the police for fear they won’t be taken seriously.

Until attitudes change, it is hard to imagine a world in which women will not feel the need to look over their shoulder.

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