Drink spiking reports on the rise in Suffolk
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Revellers are being urged to remain vigilant after figures revealed incidents of drink spiking are on the rise in Suffolk.
Statistics released under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws showed there have been nine incidents of drink spiking reported in the county up to September 20 this year, compared with six in 2018.
The figures showed that a total of 35 incidents of drink spiking have been reported to Suffolk police since 2015, with ages of victims ranging from 18 to 56 years old.
Of the 35 cases, 77% of victims (27) were women.
Suffolk police confirmed no-one has been charged with any offences to date, but two offences have been transferred to another police force and five currently remain under investigation.
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The force added that as there is no specific offence category for drink spiking or drink lacing incidents, it completed a freetext search to collect the data and there may be additional relevant offences which have not been included.
MORE: National Ask for Angela campaign backed by Suffolk policeWith the Christmas party season approaching, Elaine Hindal, chief executive of alcohol education charity Drinkaware, urged people to stay aware of any suspicious activity.
"If you suspect yours or a friend's drink has been spiked, then get help straight away, and make sure you or your friend are not left alone," she said.
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"If your drink has been spiked it's unlikely that it will look, smell or taste any different.
Drinks can be spiked with additional alcohol or with illegal drugs, which can take effect within 15-30 minutes and symptoms usually last for several hours."
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They can be odourless, colourless and tasteless, and can leave the body within a short amount of time - making them hard to detect.
Mrs Hindal added: "To help keep your drink from being spiked, make sure you always drink as safely as possible by never leaving your drink unattended, staying aware of your friends and never accepting a drink from someone you don't know.
"Drinking moderately as well as avoiding too much alcohol means you'll be alert to anything suspicious and be able to look out for yourself and your friends."