'Predators' behind 'despicable' drink-spiking spate must be caught, says Ciara Ferguson

Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson has said she is 'gravely concerned' at reports of a spate of 'despicable' drink-spiking incidents in Derry and has called for more action to ensure the 'predatory individuals' behind them are caught.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:37 pm
Ciara Ferguson has described a recent spate of drink-spiking incidents as 'disturbing.'

The Foyle MLA raised the matter in the Stormont Assembly on Monday.

Just over a week ago the PSNI confirmed they had received more than three times as many reports of 'drink-spiking' in Derry over a couple of days than they did in the five years 2016 to 2020.

Police stepped up nightlife patrols this Hallowe'en after receiving 34 reports of suspected drink spiking to date this month across the north.

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Ms. Ferguson said: "I am gravely, gravely concerned and I'm quite disturbed at the recent incidents that we have had in the city in relation to drink-spiking reports.

"A young woman socialising in the city was taken to hospital due to her drink being spiked.

"Over the same weekend the Ulster University had three reports from students who believed their drinks were spiked.

"And the PSNI have confirmed that they were also aware through social media claims that up to five people had their drinks tampered with in a bar in one night."

The Sinn Féin representative said it is likely drink-spiking crime is seriously under-reported.

"This may be the tip of the iceberg and it is really difficult to know the true extent of these heinous crimes across our villages, our towns, our city. It is extremely worrying and very sad that in today's society we must all still be conscious of the potential danger of your drink being spiked.

"I believe these acts are absolutely despicable and I really do hope that all those who are affected are receiving the love and support that they need at this traumatic time."

The Derry MLA said society needs to work together to ensure the 'predatory and abusive' individuals responsible for drink-spiking incidents are brought to book.

"I believe we must collectively do all that we can to ensure that those predatory individuals, abusive individuals who are determined to act in such a violent way towards individuals and particularly women in our communities are caught.

"Women should not have to feel unsafe when out and about in their own village, town or city with their family and friends to socialise. It's a worrying trend and once again we must all work collectively together to ensure that individuals are caught."