Drink Spiking (493A/22)
1) How many incidents of drink-spiking were recorded by your force in 2021?
Please search for this data by means of keyword searches of MO codes, using the terms ‘spike’, ‘spiking’, ‘drink-spike’, ‘drink spiked’, ‘spiked drink’, while checking to make sure that they don’t refer to some other context (e.g. ‘a spiked fence’ or ‘spiked hair’).
2) Please tell me separately how many cases of so-called ‘injection/needle spiking’ were recorded in 2021. That is, reported incidents in which a perpetrator spiked someone by means of an injection, instead of using a pill.
Please search for this data using keyword searches of MO codes, focusing on the terms ‘injection’ and ‘needle’, while checking to make sure they do not refer to needles/injections in an unrelated context.
3a) Can you please provide a summary of the first five incidents of drink-spiking in 2021, giving the content of the free-text fields/MO codes in full, while redacting any identifying information?
3b) Can you please provide a summary of the first five incidents of injection/needle-spiking in 2021, giving the content of the free-text fields/MO codes in full, while redacting any identifying information?
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.
REASON FOR DECISION
Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12). We have provided the number of incidents of drink spiking that were recorded by our force in 2021 by using the data we use for our national returns.
If we ran the search using the keywords that you have specified, it is likely to include a very high number of false positives (i.e. incidents that we know are not spiking incidents). If we used the method that you have requested, it will not be possible to manually check all the MOs it will return as this would breach the time limitations placed on FOI.
The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.