Fears over dis­carded nee­dles

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS -

A quar­ter of peo­ple in North West Dum­fries are wor­ried about dis­carded sy­ringes.

The fig­ures, from the re­sult of a com­mu­nity safety sur­vey, were called “alarm­ing” by a coun­cil­lor.

When asked what type of an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour peo­ple found was a prob­lem in their area, 25.6 per cent of re­spon­dents from North West Dum­fries put drug para­pher­na­lia top of the list.

Gra­ham Bell, a coun­cil­lor for the area, said: “It’s quite alarm­ing that 25 per cent of peo­ple are con­cerned by dis­carded nee­dles. Ev­ery­where else that fig­ure is around three per cent.

“We need to get on top of this. I’m aware of cer­tain hotspots. We don’t want to have peo­ple pick­ing th­ese up and re­ceiv­ing in­juries or re­quir­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance as a re­sult.

“I know dog foul­ing is a big is­sue but this has to be a pri­or­ity as well. We’ve got to do the right thing.”

The coun­cil is ad­dress­ing the is­sue by re­lo­cat­ing some safety bins that are pro­vided for nee­dles.

In 2015 more than 650 sy­ringes were found ly­ing in streets through­out the re­gion.

Shonagh Hen­der­son, the prin­ci­pal of­fi­cer for com­mu­nity safety, said: “We are ded­i­cat­ing ex­tra pa­trols and of­fi­cers are out more.

“We’ve set up work­ing groups to fo­cus on it and there are dis­posal bins which we’re plan­ning to move be­cause two are in the wrong lo­ca­tion.”

If any­one sees nee­dles or sy­ringes dis­carded on pub­lic land or coun­cil premises they are asked to con­tact the coun­cil by email­ing com­mu­ni­tysafe­tyteam@dum­gal.gov.uk or tele­phon­ing 030 33 33 3000.

Ac­tion call Gra­ham Bell

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