Pirate FM News

12-year-old boy finds used needle on garden wall

needle 2

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:17am 13th June 2018. (Updated at 1:28pm 13th June 2018)

A 12-year-old boy has found a used needle as he left for school in Cornwall.

The lad's mum says the grim discovery on a garden wall has violated her children's innocence.

Sarah Hamilton, who lives on Bonython Road in Newquay, was shocked when her 12-year-old left for school and found the item sitting outside their home.

She told Pirate it had quite clearly been used, adding that there was a bloody wipe and a discarded packet lying nearby.

Sarah said: "My 12 year old son left for school yesterday morning. He came back in the house and told us there was a needle on our garden.

"I went out to look. I was shocked and disgusted to see that someone had left it there. They had clearly used it there as our neighbour noticed a wipe (with blood on) and the discarded packet close by.

"I carefully brought the needle into the house. I feel worried to think that people who behave like this are residing in the local vicinity".

However, Sarah tells Pirate FM that having to explain the situation to her 7-year-old daughter was the difficult part.

She added: "The worst part was having to explain to my seven year old daughter what the needle was in order to ensure she never touched one, should she see one. I think this violated her innocence and my son's also".

Sarah says she took the needle to a local surgery, which refused to take it, but in the end managed to dispose of it at Kayes Chemist.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "Biffa hadn’t previously received a report about the needle found in Bonyton Road, Newquay however attended the site yesterday once they were made aware of the matter.

"Residents who have concerns about rubbish, such as needles on the street, can help by reporting to Cornwall Council and calling Refuse and Recycling on 0300 1234 141 or emailing refuseandrecycling@cornwall.gov.uk.”

What is the warning for parents?

Partnership Safer Cornwall says there are potential health issues around needles being 'carelessly discarded by drug users'.

They have issued advice on their website about what to do if you find any in a public place.

A spokesperson said: "Across Cornwall, a series of pharmacies offer needle exchange facilities to prevent this, however, some users persistently dispose of used needles without thought of the consequences of their actions.

"It is theoretically possible that blood borne diseases could be transmitted to members of the public, by inadvertently receiving a needle stick injury, when, for example; handling refuse or piles of leaves in areas open to the public.

"This can also include private areas open to the public such as behind front low garden walls. In the unlikely event that someone does receive a needle stick injury from a discarded needle, they should see their Doctor as soon as possible for advice".

What should I do if I find a used needle?

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "There has been no report to Cornwall Council of discarded needles at Towan Headland, however we will instruct Biffa to remove any needles they find within this open public space.

"Although not a regular occurrence we advise members of the public not to pick up needles and to report these to Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 141. We will safely remove and dispose of such items from public land and ask the contractor to increase monitoring of the area so that any discarded needles are removed at the earliest opportunity.

"Cornwall Council is a partner within Safer Cornwall and works closely with other partners such as police and local service providers to address issues in an area.

"Addaction is the commissioned service for treatment and engagement in relation to drugs and alcohol in Cornwall and they use reports of drug litter reported to Cornwall Council to enable them to appropriately target areas in their outreach work.

"As part of their outreach work they advise individuals on treatment options as well as how to dispose of needles appropriately and safely".

You can read more about clinical waste collection here or click here for advice on syringes discovered among fly-tipped rubbish.

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