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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

April 3, 2007: Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault - New Report

Drug facilitated sexual assault, including rapes in which drugs are mixed with alcohol, is a significant problem, according to a new report, “Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault”, just published by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) . The AMCD makes several recommendations to help tackle date rape. These include:

  • the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) should enhance evidence gathering so that the Forensic Science Service can test for date rape drugs;
  • the Department of Health should ensure hospitals have early evidence kits to allow for similar tests;
  • the Government should seek advice on whether the Sexual Offences Act should be strengthened;
  • drug facilitated sexual assault should be part of the British Crime Survey and be recorded by police;
  • schools and other educational establishments should alert people to take common sense measures, such as minding drinks, to avoid being a victim.

Two drugs - gamma-buterolactone and 1,4-butanediol - are reportedly used in date rape but are not currently illegal. The Council will report on the potential for classification of these in the near future. However, most drugs used in DFSA, including flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, gamma-hydroxy butyrate (GHB), ketamine and cocaine are already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 at an appropriate level and the Council makes no recommendations to reclassify any of them.

The report also highlights the very significant role played by alcohol, either alone or in combination with other substances, in date rape. It also provides an assessment of two reports : “Operation Matisse: investigating drug facilitated sexual assault”, published by ACPO; and “Toxicological findings in cases of alleged drug facilitated sexual assault in the United Kingdom over a three year period”, published by the Forensic Science Service.

ACMD Chair Professor Sir Michael Rawlins said:

��Drug facilitated sexual assault is a particularly disgusting offence that wrecks people’s lives. It is a significant but under-reported problem. We need more information to help tackle drug facilitated sexual assault and find out the true extent of the problem. That is why drug facilitated sexual assault should be part of the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime statistics."

"Most drugs used in drug facilitated sexual assault are already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but we are concerned that two drugs are not currently controlled and will further consider whether they should be classified. We will advise the Home Office by the end of the year.”

To avoid being a date rape victim the ACMD is encouraging people to:

  • avoid going to a club, pub or party alone;
  • not accept a drink from strangers;
  • not share or exchange drinks;
  • not leave your drink unattended even when going to the toilet;
  • be a friend by watching out for others, and be aware of any changes in their behaviour.

The AMCD will continue to keep drug facilitated sexual assault under review.

The ACMD is established under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to keep under review the drug situation in the United Kingdom and to advise Government Ministers on measures that they feel should be taken for preventing the misuse of drugs or for dealing with the social problems connected with their misuse.