A FIVE-YEAR-OLD child received a needle-stick injury at a skate park at Brighton, on Hobart’s northern fringes, yesterday morning prompted a police warning to parents.
Acting Inspector Jason Hutcheon, of the Bridgewater police, said the child was at the skate park in Seymour St with its parents and two siblings, aged three and eight.
While playing hide and seek in nearby bushes, the five-year-old was pricked on a discarded syringe.
“If the use of drugs is not irresponsible enough, the fact that these offenders cannot be trusted to safely dispose of used syringes is very disappointing,” Police Insp Hutcheon said.
The sentiment isvery true and responsibility lies with those who discard syringes and needles so casually. However, responsibility must be shared, at least in part, by Local Authorities and others who collectively fail to manage illicit drug use. Among many other approaches, this might include the availability of sharps bins in selected areas, free needle exchange schemes and regular and prompt clearing of needle finds with regular patrols of needle ‘hot-spots’.
A previously published audit suggested that UK Local Authorities respond only poorly to the clearing of discarded sharps. A further updated audit is almost complete and the results will be analysed in detail and published in the New Year. However, it seems so far that things haven’t improved substantially, with most Local Authorities promising, at best, a rather tardy and restricted service to the community.