Residents using St Helens parks have been urged to stay alert after an upturned needle was found on swings in Nanny Goat Park in Fingerpost over the weekend.
A mother accompanied by her two children raised the alarm after going to wipe the swing seats in the children’s play area.
St Helens Council has already placed its staff on high alert and instructed park rangers, cleaners and grounds maintenance teams to remain extra vigilant as they go about their duties in parks across the borough. The authority is also working closely with the police to help apprehend those responsible.
But the public have a key role too to play too – with all park users, especially those visiting play areas, urged to check equipment before allowing children to use it.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Richard McCauley said: “This was an horrific incident and I shudder to think what the potential consequences could have been. We are working with the police to apprehend those responsible but in the meantime everyone should take great care – and check play equipment before using it.”
Equipped children’s play area areas within parks are inspected and cleansed on a daily basis throughout the week by council staff – and patrols are carried out at weekends. The council also responds immediately to collect discarded hypodermic needles reported by the public.
St Helens Council commissions a specialist needle and syringe programme for people who inject drugs with needles, syringes and other injecting equipment. This is provided by a number of local community pharmacies and at the specialist community treatment provider at Lincoln House.
The council also commissions a household medical waste collection service that can be accessed via www.sthelens.gov.uk/clinicalwaste
Anyone with any information is urged to call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.