Spiking Reporting Centre

In this Section

Aston Students’ Union acts as a Spiking Reporting Centre for students at Aston University.

We prioritise the safety and welfare of all of our members, which is why we have a zero tolerance approach to any form of spiking and harassment.

Such behaviour can significantly and deeply affect someone’s physical and mental health, their social life and their learning experience.

We do not tolerate it in any of our spaces and you do not have to tolerate it either. We will support you to report any such behaviour that you have experienced or witnessed so that action can be taken to prevent it from happening to others.

What is spiking?

Spiking occurs when alcohol or drugs are put into someone’s drinks or body without their knowledge and consent.

Perpetrators spike drinks or people (via injection) with the intentions of making victims vulnerable so that they can take advantage of them when lose their ability to think clearly and their consciousness.

A perpetrator may do this to make it easier for them to rob, rape or assault the victim.

A perpetrator may also do it to amuse themselves and others because they see it as a joke or prank. This would still be completely unacceptable because spiking is illegal and a violation of another person’s human rights and dignity.

What substances are used for spiking?

Alcohol is the most common substance used to spike drinks. Sometimes added to a soft (non-alcoholic) drink without knowledge and consent, or by using double measures instead of singles.

Drugs are also used to spike drinks or people directly through injection with needles.

As a result, spiking can occur anywhere including pubs, nightclubs, house parties, restaurants and at home.

What are the consequences of being caught spiking?

Spiking is a very serious criminal offence regardless of whether it occurs as a joke within a group of friends or between strangers.

Any perpetrator found to be spiking another person’s drinks or injecting anyone can expect to expulsion from University (if they are a student) and criminal charges that could lead to up to 10 years in prison.

What impact can spiking have on a victim?

Spiking causes actual harm and is a serious violation of another person’s human rights and dignity.

Spiking is not a joke because it can cause someone to pass out and make them more susceptible to being seriously injury by being robbed, raped or assaulted.

How will I know if I’ve been spiked?

NHS guidance states:

Although your symptoms will depend on which substance has been used, they usually include some of the following:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Difficulty concentrating or speaking
  • Loss of balance and finding it hard to move
  • Visual problems, particularly blurred vision
  • Memory loss (amnesia) or "blackouts"
  • Feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up (if you've been asleep)
  • Paranoia (a feeling of fear or distrust of others)
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing or touching things that aren't there) or having an "out of body" experience
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

If you think you’ve been spiked, or start to feel strange or more drunk than you should be, get help immediately. Your unique circumstances will determine if you need to get medical help and how urgent that is.

What should I do if I have been spiked?

  • Get help from a friend you trust, a relative or a senior member of staff if you are in a club or pub
  • Go to a place of safety as soon as possible; but only go home with someone you totally trust.
  • If you are with people you do not know, contact a trusted friend or relative to come and take you home and look after you.
  • If you start to feel very sleepy, vomit or have hallucinations, you should call 111, visit your GP or local Accident and Emergency Department immediately.
  • If you have been spiked and think you've been sexually assaulted, contact your nearest sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for specialist care and support.
  • If you've been spiked but have not been sexually assaulted, call 111 for urgent medical advice if you have any symptoms you're worried about.

How to report a drink spiking incident

If you are a victim or witness a hate crime or incident, you can report it by choosing the most appropriate option below:

In an emergency situation:
Call the ambulance or the police on 999 if anyone is seriously hurt or in danger or if you know who the offender is and they are still on the scene.
In non-emergency situations:
Report it to Aston Students’ Union (See 'How can we help?' section below)
Contact the police by calling 101 or Live Chat on their website https://west-midlands.police.uk/. Alternatively you may wish to visit your local police station
Aston students:
SafeZone App - If you are on campus and are a victim or witness an incident you can report it to security via SafeZone app which can be downloaded onto your mobile phone.
If the incident was caused by the behaviour of a student at Aston University you can report this to the University Discipline Officer Liz Hobday (E.A.Hobday@aston.ac.uk). Aston University may decide to investigate any Aston student’s behaviour which they consider falls below acceptable standards and is in breach of the Student Code of Conduct and Regulations on Student Discipline.

How can we help?

If anyone (including members of the public) wants to report a spiking incident without directly contacting the police they can contact our SU Advice Service and we can offer advice and help you to report it.

We provide a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space for you to discuss your experience or anything you have witnessed. Our advisers can help by providing guidance and support throughout the reporting process so that you feel empowered and confident about making a complaint whether to the Students’ Union, the University or the police. We will also signpost victims to services that provide support based on their circumstances.

If you see or experience a spiking incident, help prevent it happening again to you or someone else by reporting it to one of our advisers at advice@aston.ac.uk.

SU Advice
Aston Students' Union
8 Coleshill Street
B4 7BX
0121 204 4848

(Directions to Campus and Campus map)

Do you have to give your personal details when making a report?

You can choose to give your personal details or report anonymously.

When making a report with help from Aston Students’ Union, you should make clear if you want to remain anonymous and/or if you don’t want the report passed on to the police.

Please note that Aston Students’ Union will not be responsible for any part of the investigation or any decisions made in relation to the report.

Where can I find more information about Spiking?

More information and advice about spiking can be found on:

Additional support for victims of spiking

Victim Support are a charity who can help if you’ve been spiked in the past and are struggling to cope.