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Media Release


Shadow Minister for Police and Public Safety
Tuesday March 8, 2005

Lennon Government ignores drink spike detection technology

Shadow Minister for Police and Public Safety, Peter Gutwein, today called on the Lennon Labor Government to end its one and a half-year long ignorance of drink spike detection technology.

Mr Gutwein said that figures released yesterday linking half of sexual assaults reported in Tasmania to drink spiking should set off loud warning bells in Lennon Government offices.

“The information regarding drink spiking from the Sexual Assault Support Service is horrifying, and will send a shiver down the spines of all young people and their parents,” Mr Gutwein said.

“Following the release of this information, it is crucial that the State Labor Government play a leading role in not just announcing a Community Support Levy grant to fund posters and coasters, but also begin being proactive in trialing drink spike detection technology

Drink spiking technology has been trialed in Wollongong, NSW, which handed out drink spiking detectors to the public after a spate of drink spiking incidents there.

The card changes colour when it detects drugs commonly used in spiking, including GHB (fantasy) and ketamine. These colourless, odourless and tasteless drugs have been impossible to detect by drinkers until now.

Using a swizzle stick or straw, a drop of the drink is placed on one of the test characters. If the circle changes to a darker blue, the drink has been tampered with.

“Over one and a half-years ago, the State Liberals called on the State Labor Government to investigate the use of new technology such as this, but as far as we are aware, nothing has been done,” Mr Gutwein said.

“There is a clear need to stop drink spikers in their tracks and prevent innocent young women and men from becoming victims to such potentially sinister attacks.

“Whilst this technology will not prevent all drink spiking incidents, it has the potential to reduce the spate of drink spiking in bars and at events such as concerts in Tasmania and this can only help prevent a significant number of sexual assault incidents.

“If there is an opportunity to be pro-active about this sinister problem, and prevent just one person from falling victim to such a dreadful attack, it ought to be seized,” Mr Gutwein said.

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Clancy – (03) 6233 2505 or 0411 279 252





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