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30 Nov 2021

Laois gardaí report on incidence of ‘date rape’ drink spiking in Laois

‘Date rape’ drink spiking not happening in Laois according to Gardaí

A senior Laois Garda has said that drink spiking or ‘date rape’ attempts are not happening in the county,  and says the trend is not as widespread as is claimed on social media. 

However they say they are on the alert and have advised young people on how to stay safer while out socialising. 

Garda Superintendent John Lawless spoke at the Joint Policing Committee public meeting on November 15.

“Thankfully there is no incident reported in Laois. I’m aware of all the talk about it in recent times. The evidence is that it’s not as common as what’s being portrayed on social media. 

“But it is a serious problem. It’s something that has happened. It’s not so much in this country it’s happening in the UK and it’s something we have to watch and follow up. 

“But it hasn’t happened in Laois. The HSE has offered a statement on it too. They were being inundated at emergency departments and they had to ask people to not come unless it was serious and it really happened. It’s a problem in that it’s something that could happen.

“Hopefully it won’t come to Laois or to any where else. I think there is a social media frenzy around it. The information that’s in social media is not all correct either. That’s not in any ways to minimise it. If it happens here there is plenty of legislation to deal with it. 

“It’s just about identifying the culprits but we have a fair bit of support if it happens in pubs. The regulations as regards nightclubs and CCTV now would give us a good hand to get at it," he said. 

Supt Lawless said that young people must look after each other. 

“Our crime prevention officer has spoken about the area of personal responsibility. That they go out as a group and protect each other and look after each other. I know people say you shouldn’t have to but unfortunately you do. 

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley had asked him about the issue of “date rape spiking” of young people, particularly women.

“In clubs they are sticking needles into them. Is there any trace of that in Laois? At least with a drink you can be careful but if something is sticking needles that’s very worrying,” she said.

The JPC chairperson Cllr Ashling Moran also noted that Carlow IT students union are patrolling pubs wearing yellow vests, to help anyone who feels they have been spiked.

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