Action after needles found

LOCAL parents have said their children’s lives are at risk after used hypodermic needles were found in a Montrose playpark.

They claim that around six needles have been discovered in the park and local gardens around Garrison Road and Annat Road over the last few weeks, and that similar incidents have been reported to Angus Council in the past three years.

The parents also said they are frustrated by the authorities’ apparent lack of action and are in the process of petitioning the council to get the area cleared up, claiming the needles come from one particular housing block.

Some have even claim they have seen drug dealing going on openly in the Garrison Road park.

Group spokeswoman Kerrie Fryer said the parents have had enough and want decisive action taken by both the council and local police.

She said: “There have been six needles found since just before Christmas. We called the police to come and get them but the last time, last Wednesday, it took them five-and-a-half hours. Before that I’ve had to physically lift them myself and take them round to the fire station where the paramedics disposed of them.

“It has been going on over the last three years. It’s getting worse and no one seems to be interested in where we’re coming from. We contacted our housing officers who came out and had a look around and just went away again. They wouldn’t like it if their children were running around with dirty needles lying about.

“It’s getting to the stage that we dread letting them out or taking them to school in case they fall on them.”

Both Angus Council and local police this week said they are aware of problems in the neighbourhood and action is being taken.

Inspector Gordon Cryle said a number of reports regarding drugs paraphernalia and needles have been received recently and that the area is already subject to high visibility patrols.

He said: “We’ve attended as promptly as we can, uplifted them and disposed of them. It’s a high visibility patrol area, which is indicative of the importance we’re placing on policing it, and that will continue.

“I’m aware that we’ve had some information about drug dealing and we’ve taken some enforcement activity which will also continue. I don’t think we’ve had reports of drug dealing in the open but if we did we’d be sure to attend very quickly.

“I’m keen to work with local residents to stop this from happening. It’s unacceptable and we don’t want children to be exposed to used needles.

“I’ll look to our community liaison officer to engage with local residents and partners to seek a solution to this and anyone with information about dealing in the area, tell us immediately and we’ll respond to that.”

An Angus Council spokeswoman also warned anyone finding needles not to touch them and contact the council for their safe disposal.

She said: “Housing, social work and health and community safety team members are working together and with Tayside Police to address these complaints.

“Members of the public finding discarded needles should not touch them, but should call the ACCESSLine 0845 2777778 to arrange for safe disposal.

“If any members of the public are encountering anti-social behaviour amongst their neighbours, they should contact our housing department via the ACCESSline or e-mail for advice and help.”