Essex Police has revealed the number of drink spiking incidents it recorded over the past two-and-a-half years.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request, published by Essex Police, shows 811 offences involving cases of alleged injection by needle and drink spiking were recorded from January 1 2021 to June 30 2023.

Essex Police recorded 639 victims of reported spiking offences between January 1 2021 and December 31 2022.

Of the reported crimes during this time, 51 victims were aged under 16, 28 were 16-17 years old, and 560 were aged 18 and over. A total of 447 of the victims were female while 184 were male.

The majority of reported offences - 328 - resulted in no suspect being identified and the case closed pending further investigative opportunities becoming available. 

Another large chunk of the cases - a total of 146 - resulted in victim-based evidential difficulties and no suspect identified. In these cases the crime was confirmed but the victim either declines or is unable to support further police investigation to identify the offender.

The force was actively investigating 29 reported spiking offences when the FOI was published.

Evidential difficulties prevented further action despite a named suspect being identified in 64 cases, and in 68 other reports the victim did not support police action despite named suspects being identified.

Two suspects were charged under the alternate offence rule, and three were charged, summonsed or sent a postal requisition.

Further action resulting from the crime report will be undertaken by another body or agency in six cases subject to the victim being made aware of the act to be taken

One adult was cautioned and three reports resulted in community resolutions.

Diversionary, educational or intervention activity, resulting from the crime report, was undertaken in eight cases.

In one case, a named suspect was too ill to prosecute, and in another the prosecution time limit expired despite a suspect being identified.