A TORY MSP has been accused of spreading "blatant misinformation" over claims people accused of spiking would not be prosecuted by the police.

Russell Findlay, a Conservative MSP for the West Scotland region, called for an exemption to the proposed non-prosecution of drug laws for those caught with drugs that are for the intention of spiking in Holyrood earlier this week.

He then posted the clip of him asking the question of Justice Secretary Keith Brown to his social media pages.

The National:

However, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) quickly responded to Findlay, tweeting: "The Lord Advocate’s guidance that police officers may choose to issue a warning for simple possession of drugs has no bearing on ‘spiking’"

On Thursday, in response to a question from SNP MSP Gillian Martin, Brown accused the Tory MSP of creating a "red herring" on the issue and that those caught spiking under the Misuse of Drugs Act and new guidance to police on possession of drugs has no bearing on that.

It comes amid concern about spiking of women through the use of injection in nightclubs, bars and house parties across the UK.

Police Scotland has been investigating a "number of reports" across the country of spiking by injection and incidents where people have been spiked without a needle.

READ MORE: Police Scotland taking spiking reports 'extremely seriously', Humza Yousaf says

Martin (below) has accused Findlay of spreading "blatant misinformation" through his tweet that he has - at the time of publication  - still not removed from his social media pages.

She said: “The recent reports of spiking by injection have caused serious alarm amongst women who have been left in fear over their safety on nights out. Sadly, this worry is not unusual for women who from a very young age have had to learn how to protect themselves not only in bars and nightclubs but walking home alone in the dark.

The National:

“We know already that many victims of sexual assault feel discouraged from reporting incidents to the police because of fear over lack of prosecution and Mr Findlay’s comments earlier this week only serve to reinforce this worry unnecessarily.

“I am extremely disappointed to see such blatant misinformation being spread by Tory MSP Russell Findlay – who has still not removed this dangerous inaccurate messaging from his social media.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the Lord Advocate have made clear that those caught in possession of drugs which could be used for spiking will be prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Act, as they have always been.

“I would encourage MSPs from across the chamber to think before stoking further worry for those impacted by spiking or any other form of sexual assault.”

It was recently decided in Scotland that people in possession of Class A drugs could receive a police warning rather than facing immediate prosecution.

READ MORE: 'I had tears in my eyes': Peter Krykant on the new Scots drugs rules

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain announced the measures in Holyrood last month and said they would help prevent re-offending when used in appropriate cases.

A COPFS spokesperson said: “The RPW [Recorded Police Warning] scheme does not apply to possession of controlled drugs with intention to supply them to another. Such behaviour constitutes a specific, separate offence under S.5(3) of the Misuse of Drugs 1971.

“As the Lord Advocate made clear in her recent statement to Parliament, it is not mandatory for police to offer a Recorded Police Warning. Officers retain the ability to report appropriate cases to the Procurator Fiscal and will take into account the specific circumstances of the offence.”

In 2020, Scotland recorded 1339 deaths linked to drugs, the seventh time in a row that the number had risen.

In the first half of 2021, 722 suspected deaths were registered. While that represents a drop of nine from 2020, it also puts the country on track to break the drugs death record for an eighth year running.

The new policy aims to help to reverse the trend.