Police Scotland take all reports of spiking seriously and every report is thoroughly investigated.
You are the Police’s main concern at the time of reporting. Your welfare and safety are their priority and medical assistance will be requested if necessary.
Any investigation will focus on the crime being reported and on identifying those responsible for potential spiking offences. Officers will want to maximise all opportunities to fully investigate your report and so once your welfare is taken care of, they will ask you to provide an account of what has happened. They may also want to speak to your friends or people you were with, as they may be able to provide additional and important details. This allows officers to understand what has happened and to put an appropriate plan in place.
You may be asked to provide a urine and/or blood sample for analysis. These will only be taken with your full consent. You will never be forced to provide these, but they will assist the investigation. These may be taken at a Police Station or another appropriate place.
If you, or the person who has been spiked, have taken seriously unwell you should not hesitate to seek medical assistance.
If a person turns up to an Emergency Department concerned they have been spiked, the clinical response is to respond to the presenting symptoms and carry out an assessment to make sure the person is safe and clinically well. Drug screens are not routinely performed and there is no blood test to detect spiking although you may be asked for blood and urine samples.
Where a person is concerned they have been spiked via injection, there may be clinical concern regarding the transmission of potential blood-borne viruses. In such cases, the person would ordinarily be referred to sexual health services which are highly experienced in the prevention, investigation and management of blood-borne viruses.
If you, or someone you know, suspect you have been a victim of sexual assault after being spiked and are not sure whether to report to the Police you can get in touch with SARCS.
SARCS – Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service is a dedicated NHS service which can offer healthcare and support in the days after a rape or sexual assault.
SARCS offer a self-referral service which is available for those aged 16 and over, this service allows someone to have a forensic medical examination and have their evidence stored by the health board if they are not ready, or are unsure whether they wish to report to the Police.
Any blood samples taken will be retained alongside other evidence collected by the health board as part of the forensic medical examination. Any evidence gathered will be retained for a period of 26 months and then destroyed should no police report be made during that time.
If you have gone to the Police in the first instance, to report being sexually assaulted after being spiked the Police will arrange for the appropriate forensic samples to be taken by SARCS.
Ask for Angela is a scheme that has been running for a number of years. Look out for ‘Ask for Angela’ posters in venues, normally found in the toilets or discreet areas, where a venue is supporting the scheme. In these venues, you can ask either behind the bar or a member of staff for ‘Angela’. Using the simple code-word will alert the staff that there’s an issue with your date and they will help you get out of the situation safely and discreetly.