In Oxford there were nearly 20 spiking incidents reported to police during a 12 month period between 2020 and 2021, an Oxford Mail investigation has revealed.

The data comes as three women in the county have told of their experiences of being allegedly spiked through their drink and via needles. 

‘Spiking’ refers to when someone is given alcohol or drugs without their knowledge, usually in a drink. A person may be spiked for the intent of stealing from the victim, assaulting them sexually or physically or as an attempted joke.

A Freedom of Information request sent to Thames Valley Police by the Oxford Mail requested:

  • The number, and locations, of spikings recorded in Oxford (of all categories) over the last 12 months (October 2020 to October 2021)
  • The number, and locations, of spikings using needles in Oxford over the last 12 months (October 2020 to October 2021)


A key word search was used on Thames Valley Police’s crime recording system by the Information Management Team to search for the relevant information.

The search did not find any recorded incidents in Oxford involving spiking using needles within the 12 month period specified.

In November, the Oxford Mail reported on the case of Molly Hargreaves, who believes she was spiked with a needle while on a night out in Abingdon.  

This was followed by another woman who reported being spiked via injection in an Oxford nightclub in the early hours of November 21

In terms of drink spiking, the keyword search revealed there were 18 reports spiking incidents in the city during that period.

The incidents, broken down by neighbourhood policing areas, were recorded as either ‘valid crimes’ or as a ‘non-crime occurrence’.

A valid crime refers to a crime where there is an identified victim.

A non-crime occurrence, on the other hand, refers to an incident reported by a third party where either the alleged victim declines to confirm the crime or the alleged victim cannot be traced. It may also mean the incident is being dealt with by another police force or the National Crime Recording Standard or Home Office Counting Rules for Recording Crime direct that a crime should not be recorded.

The data revealed Oxford East had the highest number of recorded incidents, with six valid crimes and one non-crime occurrence reported to police.

Oxford North East then had the second highest reports with four valid crimes.

Other areas in the city, such as Oxford Central, Oxford North and Oxford South East also had recorded spiking incidents in the during the 12 month period.

All the Oxford areas with spiking incidents reported:

Oxford Central

  • Valid Crimes: 2
  • Non-crime Occurrences: 1

Oxford Cowley

  • Valid Crimes: 2

Oxford East

  • Valid Crimes: 6
  • Non-crime Occurrences: 1

Oxford North

  • Valid Crimes: 1

Oxford North East

  • Valid Crimes: 4

Oxford South East

  • Valid Crimes: 1


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