If the spiking incident happened recently, there might be evidence that could help find who spiked you.
Some of this evidence may be used in court, if we can identify and find who spiked you. We call this 'forensic evidence'.
Forensic evidence can include:
something that the offender might have left behind, for example a needle or drugs
things from the scene like a glass
evidence from a forensic test on a sample of the victim’s urine, blood, hair or nails
fingerprints, DNA (genetic) evidence or evidence from the offender’s body
If you think there has also been a rape or sexual assault, find out about forensic evidence that could help the case.
If someone spiked you in the last seven days
If you report to us that you believe someone has spiked you, we may ask you to provide a urine or blood sample for forensic testing.
Only the police can conduct a forensic test, unless you’ve been sexually assaulted and go to a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) where they can also take these forensic tests, as well as giving you specialist support.
The result of this testing can be used in evidence if we identify who spiked you.
Some drugs leave the body within 12 hours or much sooner. If you report to us as soon as possible, we can take a sample that could be used for testing. But many other drugs remain in the body longer, so we might be able to test you up to seven days after the incident.
The test we can use is the most effective way of finding out whether someone has spiked you. It can detect over a hundred different types of drugs.
If someone has spiked you with alcohol, there are other ways we can investigate what happened to you.
We'll visit you wherever you are
If you report spiking within this seven-day time period, an officer will visit you wherever you are to provide you with a sterile container for the urine sample. They may have a doctor with them to take a blood sample.
Where possible, we'll do our best to send an officer appropriate to your gender, but we cannot guarantee this. Our priority is to get an officer to you as soon as possible.
If you’ve attended a sexual assault referral centre (SARC), with your consent, we’ll take the forensic tests we need when you're there, or you can ask the SARC to take these forensic samples.
But although forensic testing can tell you and us whether someone has indeed spiked you, you're in control. If you don’t want to give us a blood or urine sample for forensic testing, that's fine. We still want to hear from you.
If you had alcohol or drugs voluntarily
If you tell the police how much you have drunk and whether you have voluntarily taken illegal or prescribed medication, we’ll be able to provide a more accurate result.
It is not a crime to have illegal drugs in your system unless you are driving. So please don’t let this stop you reporting spiking. You won’t be in trouble for it and we won’t judge you.
If someone spiked you more than seven days ago
If someone spiked you more than seven days ago, we would still like you to report it. We might still be able to investigate your case and collect evidence. Crucially, we'll be able to provide you with any support you may need. Your report may also help us to identify a pattern of spiking cases.
Hospital staff or paramedics may test you to help decide how best to treat your symptoms. But this test isn’t designed to show for policing purposes with which specific drugs you were spiked.
If you are tested in a hospital or by your GP, you’ll need also to have a police forensic test. This is what can be used as evidence to support charges or convictions.
Some venues offer rapid drinks testing kits. Or you may have bought some yourself. These can sometimes be a useful early indicator that someone may have spiked you. But they may not pick up all substances used to spike and may give false positives or negatives.
If you report a spiking incident to us that happened up to seven days ago, we may ask you to provide a urine sample for forensic testing. A police officer may come to see you and take a urine sample.
If you can wait, avoid urinating until a sample can be taken. The best sample for forensic testing is taken the first time you urinate after the spiking incident took place.
If you really can’t wait, you can take a urine sample yourself. You should use a clean jar or container with a lid and store it in the fridge. But we may still need to take further samples.
If you have already been to the toilet, don't worry, we understand. We can still take a sample.
Although forensic testing can tell you and us whether someone has indeed spiked you, you're in control. If you don’t want to give us a urine sample, that's fine.
Evidence where someone spiked you
When you report a spiking incident to the police, we’ll ask you if you think that there is any other evidence. For example, a glass, a needle or CCTV footage.
If you’re still in the location where the spiking may have happened: We’ll ask you to preserve it if you can. Stay with it, if it’s safe to do so, until a police officer arrives to collect it.
But we understand that you may not be in a fit state to think about evidence. If it helps, you can ask a friend or a member of staff to collect evidence, if possible.
If you can, try to ensure that no one removes or destroys any possible forensic evidence, for example by cleaning or discarding it. That may be difficult, for example if you have thrown up and staff are keen to clean it up. Vomit may contain forensic evidence of spiking.
If you are no longer in the location where the spiking incident may have taken place: We may visit the location or locations where you told us the spiking might have happened.
We’ll may also check if the spiking incident was caught on CCTV and if there’s other evidence still available, such as your glass. Don’t worry if you don’t know if there were any CCTV cameras or witnesses. We’ll investigate that for you.