Dumped syringes spark concern among parents
RECENT photos posted online of syringes found in Toowoomba yards have sparked concerns among parents for their children's safety.
A Wilsonton Heights mother-of-four said uncapped syringes left on her and her neighbours' properties were a regular occurrence.
She has found two in her yard in the past six months.
"The first one was sitting in the front garden bed and the other was near the mailbox," she said.
"I can't even let my child collect the mail on their own.
"I've spoken to a lot of people in the area who have the same problem. There are quite a lot of young children in our neighbourhood.
"I'm concerned for my children and think this is a public safety issue."
The woman said she and her family were looking at getting a front fence to help prevent the problem.
"But not everyone has the money to do that. We shouldn't have to go out of our way to clean up after these people.
"It's not hard to dispose of the needles safely - there are bins in most public parks.
"It's just wrong to expect other people to have to pick up the mess."
Acting sergeant Rod Thurn said the recent incidents were not a cause for alarm.
"It's not a common thing, but they're found from time to time, it does happen," he said.
He said in most cases police did not need to be notified and it was best for residents to carefully and safely take care of the syringe by following a number of basic steps.
"Police should be involved if people think the syringe has been deliberately placed to cause harm, or if finding them is a common occurrence.
"We are interested to know where drug use might be taking place."
He reminded the public that failing to dispose of a syringe safely was a criminal offence, with the maximum penalty two years imprisonment.
What to do if you find a syringe
- Move away any people, especially children who are nearby
- Find an appropriate container, preferably a sharps container
- Put on rubber gloves
- Place the container beside the syringe
- Carefully pick up the syringe by the middle of the barrel and place in the container sharp end first
- Securely place the lid on the container and ensure it is sealed
- Take to a pharmacy or hospital for them to safely dispose