• Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has secured more funding from the Government to help combat spiking incidents in the county
  • The money comes from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which aims to tackle Violence against Women and Girls – a priority of the PCC’s Police and Crime Prevention plan
  • More than £42,000 of additional Government funding has been secured by Gloucestershire OPCC in the latest round of funding.

Gloucestershire Constabulary can purchase additional urine testing kits to help tackle spiking in the county, thanks to Government funding secured by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Chris Nelson

Chief Inspector Emma MacDonald of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “Over December, the number of reported spiking incidents in the county has begun to decrease slightly.

“There may be a number of reasons for that, including the good work being down by police officers with the clubs and pubs; greater use of drink testing; and fewer people choosing to socialise as the number of Omicron cases rose.

“However, we are still getting reports of spiking incidents at venues across the county and we continue to take this issue seriously. We would encourage anyone who believes they may have been the victim of spiking to contact us as soon as possible so that we can investigate all reports thoroughly.

“There is never room for complacency and officers will make every effort to ensure that everybody who wants to go out is safe wherever they may choose to enjoy themselves.”

The new urine testing kits will be funded within a £42,225 bid secured by the OPCC through the Government’s Safer Streets Fund. The money will also pay for further Bystander Training which aims to make cultural change by giving people the confidence to call out inappropriate or misogynistic behaviour; two re-deployable CCTV cameras which will focus on areas identified by data from the FLARE* app and StreetSafe reporting tool**; and on an educational campaign which helps to teach young people about consent.

The OPCC secured over one million pounds from the Safer Streets Fund back in October to help protect women and girls in Gloucestershire – a priority of the PCC’s Police and Crime Prevention plan which was released last week.

At the time, it was the third-biggest successful bid in the country and was partnered with two funding applications to support Gloucester City Centre and the county as a whole. Both bids focussed around Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls. (VIAWG) and were supported by partners including Gloucestershire Constabulary, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester City Council, and Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (GRASAC).

Chris Nelson is Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner: “I was pleased to take part in the Constabulary’s proactive anti-spiking operation before Christmas, which appears to be making a positive impact, and has been warmly welcomed by the public.

It’s my job to ensure the Constabulary has the money and resources to continue this essential work, so I’m delighted that my commissioning team has yet again been able to secure funding from the Home Office, supporting our ambitious campaign to tackle Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls in Gloucestershire.

“While this is positive news, this important initiative to make our streets safer will need much more effort. It is our responsibility as a society to shift the culture of women being held accountable for wicked and unacceptable violence by men. This is why tackling Violence against Women and Girls is a key priority in my Police and Crime Prevention Plan.”