Caernarfon: Woman who nearly died from spiked drink criticises North Wales Police for not doing more

  • Lucy said she feels lucky that her boyfriend was with her the night she was spiked

A 22-year-old woman who almost died after being spiked in Caernarfon last year has criticised North Wales Police for “not taking her seriously”.

Speaking to the S4C's current affairs programme, Y Byd ar Bedwar, Lucy Baum from Groeslon near Caernarfon said she feels like she is "a waste of time to them, like my case isn’t important to them".

These comments come after Lucy was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd by ambulance in February 2022, after celebrating becoming a godmother with two of her friends.

Lucy feel that she is "a waste of time" to police. Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

The group of friends had visited three pubs before going to Copa nightclub.

“When I got to Copa, I remember buying a drink, I remember dancing and after about half an hour Leah and Kate left, and then all of a sudden I just felt really unwell, I was confused, a lot of people said I was slurring my words.

She added: "But in the end, I don’t remember anything after that."

When her boyfriend, Cai, realised that something was not right, he took her home, by which point she had fallen unconscious. He called an ambulance.

“I don’t remember myself, but from what Cai has told me, they put me in an ambulance, blue lights to Ysbyty Gwynedd - my heart stopped in the back of the ambulance.”

After Lucy woke up/gained consciousness, staff at the hospital informed her that she had more than likely been spiked.

“I couldn’t believe it to be honest. And then when they told me that my heart had stopped at one point, I started sobbing.”

Lucy was given a GCS score, which measures a persons consciousness, of three. This is the lowest score possible and is associated with a high mortality rate.

The letter Lucy received from Ysbyty Gwynedd Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

“After speaking to Cai, I said we need to go to the police. My mum got an incident number, but the police said that we couldn't do much unless we had some sort of evidence.”

Although Lucy had a letter from the hospital showing ‘spiked as legs heavy’ and her GCS score of 3, she said that this was not enough for the police.

She feels as though they did not take her case seriously.

“They could have gone to Copa to ask for footage, they’ve got more authority than us. But the fact that they didn’t do that, I don’t think they took me seriously at all.

"I feel as though I am a waste of time to them, as though my case isn’t important to them."

  • "Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for us"

In a statement, North Wales Police said it will introduce an online reporting portal on its website, "which will hopefully make it easier to encourage people to report incidents of this crime.

"It is mainly women who are targeted, and tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for us."

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the most common reasons for spiking individuals is to steal something or to carry out a physical or sexual assault.

North Wales Police said tackling violence against women and girls "is a priority" for the force. Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

Statistics Y Byd ar Bedwar have obtained show that the number of spiking incidents reported to police forces in Wales have more than quadrupled since 2018, with an increase of more than 300% of reported incidents in north Wales.

Figures the programme received from the Crown Prosecution Service, showed that of all reported incidents in Wales since 2018, only one person has been prosecuted for the specific offence of spiking.

Dr Pete Williams, who works in the Emergency Department at Ysbyty Gwynedd, said it’s not easy to prove that someone has been spiked.

It’s really hard. We don’t really test for recreational drugs as we find it just muddies the water. 

Dr. Pete Williams, Consultant in Emergency Care at Ysbyty Gwynedd Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

"There are tests available, for example a rapid urine test, but it’s not very accurate.

"And the tests which are accurate take many many days to come back so we don’t get that result in a clinically useful period of time."

Dr Williams added: "It is a particularly dangerous drug. It's almost colourless and tasteless so it's very hard to detect if it has been put into your drink.

"Patients can rapidly lose consciousness and become really very vulnerable.

"There have been a number of reported incidents of patients coming into hospital needing critical care or even patients dying.”

Stickers used to protect drinks from spiking Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

Last year, the UK Government changed the law regarding the drug GHB which is often used to spike people.

Now, if someone is caught with it in their possession, they can face up to fourteen years in prison, according to the UK Government.

Lucy is now calling for every pub in Wales to offer anti-spiking measures to protect people on nights out.

“I would like to see the stickers that you put over your drink to stop someone from putting something in it - in all pubs in Wales, I feel that they would help a lot”

She added: “I have got a lot of anxiety about going out now, I’m very aware now, I always watch my drink. I thought that I was safe in Caernarfon. I never want to feel out of control like that night again.”

You can watch Y Byd ar Bedwar, Monday night at 8pm, on S4C, BBC iPlayer and Clic.

If you have been affected by anything in this article, help and advice can be found here.

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