While the Council very much appreciates the support of local residents in trying to overcome the public hazards of abandoned needles, the best thing they can do to help is immediately ring for assistance, with clear information on whereabouts the needles are located, so they can be quickly collected.

Drugs

There are serious potential health risks if you get injured while picking one up, because once a needle has been used, viruses from the user's blood may still contaminate it. If residents have already collected needles, then we can arrange a collection from their home if they contact the Council for a clinical waste collection. However if they find needles in public places from now on, they should leave them alone and contact the Council who will make arrangements to collect them as soon as possible.

Following concerns recently about rising reports of impact of drug and alcohol abuse in Totnes, South Hams District Council have set up a Task and Finish group to gather evidence of the problem, and to determine what actions the Council can take to support the community.

Cllr Peter Smerdon, Chairman of the Task and Finish Group said: "We set up the group to investigate anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol and drug abuse, and particularly to listen to parents concerns. We will investigate where the Council can find solutions to the drugs related issues that fall within SHDC responsibility."

The Council continue to work with their partners to look at the provision for needles in Totnes and whether there is anything that can be done to reduce the amount of discarded needles which are being reported.