Child HIV fears after woman finds syringes

Reporter:

Claire Glallagher

FEARS have been raised over the safety of youngsters after a woman claims to have found hundreds of used syringes in a Wrexham park.

The woman, who lives in the Bradley Road area, says she found the syringes around Bellevue Park in recent months.

She says she has also seen drug users injecting themselves in the park in broad daylight only last week.

The woman, who does not want to be named, is now so worried that she fears a child could die if they accidentally pick up a contaminated needle.

But police today said they have stepped up high visibility policing in the area and there has been a “massive decrease” in the number of needles found.

The woman said: “In the last couple of months I have seen hundreds of drugs users,” she said.

“I see so many needles around the park – mostly in the bushes, around the park and in the Gardens of Rest. It’s disgusting.

“I always make sure I pick them up wearing gloves and then give them to the police or the council.”

The woman, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, added: “I saw a little boy in Bellevue Park picking up leaves and I thought ‘what if he was pricked by a needle and got HIV?’ I’m frightened for the children.

“I’m worried that a child could die if it pricks itself with a needle.”

She said the needles were found between mid-August and the end of September.

Local officer PC Andy Turvey has been working with PCSO Rob Parry to tackle the problem in the area.

PC Turvey said they have been working under Operation Vermillion to provide high visibility policing in the area.

He said: “We have been speaking with park staff and there has been a massive decrease in the numbers of needles.

“None have been found at all in the last eight days.

“Inquiries are still ongoing in the area and there is a lot of intelligence led policing happening.”

John Bradbury, chief environment officer, said: “The situation has improved following work between ourselves and the police who have carried out operations in the vicinity of the park. We will continue to work with the police to try to ensure the issue is kept under control.”

See full story in the Leader

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