Is there a problem in Evesham with abandoned needles and drug paraphernalia? - The Evesham Observer

Is there a problem in Evesham with abandoned needles and drug paraphernalia?

Evesham Editorial 27th Oct, 2017 Updated: 27th Oct, 2017   0

A NUMBER of Evesham residents have come forward to say the issue with used needles and drug paraphernalia being dumped on the town’s streets ‘happens all the time.’

It follows the Observer’s front page story last week in which disgusted mum of three, Melanie Kennedy, slammed council chiefs for failing to immediately collect a heroin ‘one hit kit’ which had been left in her front garden.

Wychavon District Council responded by saying they are ‘not legally obliged’ to deal with discarded needles on private land and insisted it is the responsibility of the land owner.

Following Melanie’s shocking discovery, a number of Evesham residents have come forward to say it was not an isolated incident and they regularly come across discarded needles.

One resident said: “In Bengeworth we see this often in the alley at back of our house. When we reported it we were told by police to put gloves on and put it in the rubbish bin. What if children pick them up?”

Another Evesham resident said: “We had it near us. 20 odd needles we found in a hedge and the council refused to touch it so we had to deal with it ourselves.

“We still get it now along the hedge that runs along side of our garden.”

One resident added: “It happens all the time. Unfortunately seeing that sort of rubbish isn’t really that shocking anymore; it is disgusting but not unusual. Be vigilant people.”

As a result of more residents coming forward with their experiences, the Observer has spoken to Wychavon District Council about how much of a problem abandoned needles and drug paraphernalia is in Evesham.

Sharon Casswell, Client Services Manager for Wychavon District Council, said: “On occasion our contractors do report dealing with abandoned needles.

“On average we receive about one report involving an abandoned needle every two weeks. To put that into context we receive on average about two reports every week regarding fly-tipping.

“Anyone who finds an abandoned needle on public land should not touch it and report it immediately to us on 01386 565018. Where possible we aim to collect them within an hour.

“If the needle is on private land then it is the landowner’s responsibility to dispose of it safely but they should not be put in the general waste bin as this poses a health risk to our collection crews. More information about disposing of needles is available on our website.”

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