Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
House of Commons Committee report on spiking Published Date: 26/04/2022

The House of Commons Committee report on spiking has been reported with recommendations to government.

Amongst other things, the report found that:

"licensing authorities, councils play an important role in regulating the night-time economy. Licensing authorities have a range of powers to tackle premises causing
problems under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014:

• Conditions: As well as mandatory conditions set out in the Licensing Act, authorities can add ‘voluntary’ conditions to a licence, such as installation of CCTV or imposition of noise limits.

• Licence reviews: Where there is a failure to respond to warnings or where concerns are particularly serious, licensing authorities can modify or add conditions, remove the Designated Premises Supervisor, suspend all or any of the licensable activities for up to three months, or revoke the licence.

• Closure powers: These may be sought where necessary to prevent disorder."

It went on to say however that:

"There is limited data on the extent to which licensing authorities use these options. The Home Office collect statistics on reviews and revocations, but not on use of conditions, and the data are out of date as they have been paused during the Covid pandemic.

"Available statistics show that reviews are rare. In the year to 31 March 2018 (the latest for which statistics are available), there were 212,800 premises licences in England and Wales and 600 licensing reviews were carried out. Where action was taken following a completed review, 212 licenses were revoked, or a club premises certificate withdrawn. In specific relation to spiking, in November 2021, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council suspended the licence of one local premises after the police shared evidence of multiple drink spiking reports at the venue."

The Select Committee also said:

"We are concerned that the Government is not doing enough to monitor licensing authorities’ use of powers to regulate the night-time economy, both with specific regard to spiking incidents and more generally in relation to violence against women and girls. Within three months the Government should:

(i) collect data on local licensing authorities’ use of their powers to impose conditions or revoke premises licenses, where venues do not take sufficient measures to protect and provide support to customers in spiking incidents;
(ii) work with local authorities to develop an anti-spiking strategy which encourages local licensing authorities to make better use of these powers; and
(iii) as part of this, review guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 with a view to requiring licensing authorities to consider the prevalence, prevention and reporting of sexual harassment and misconduct and gender-based violence in statements of local licensing policy."

Other recommendation include:

  1. all staff working at music festivals, including vendors, be given compulsory safeguarding training, and this be a requirement that licensing authorities consider when approving events. This might be done along lines similar to training provided in voluntary schemes in other licensed premises, such as Ask Angela or the licensing security and vulnerability initiative (Licensing SAVI).
  2. The Home Office should give the Committee a written update six months from the date of publication of this Report on progress towards creating a separate criminal offence of spiking.
  3. As part of its national communications campaign to say “Enough” to violence against women and girls, the Government should engage with the night-time industry, the education sector, and the health sector to produce a national anti-spiking communications campaign.
  4. As part of its wider VAWG strategy, the Government should consider a support package for night-time industries to boost security measures including the recruitment and training of additional door security staff, particularly female staff.