Anger as used syringes found scattered in Paisley street

Discarded syringes have been found scattered in Paisley – sparking concerns over public safety.

The used needles were spotted by a concerned resident dumped in bushes next to Hunter Street car park in the town.

The Paisley man who made the grim discovery feared the paraphernalia could be a danger to children and reported it to Renfrewshire Council.

He said: “I found them right next to the pavement, so they weren’t hidden away.

“I reported it to the council as people need to be aware things like that are lying about as a child could have fell on them or picked them up as they were right at the pavement.”

The Express previously told how hundreds of syringes have been reported scattered across Renfrewshire’s streets in just five years.

Council wardens have been called out to deal with 600 dirty needles discarded near homes and parks.

In 2018, more than 120 were flagged-up to wardens.

Paisley’s Broomlands Street, Lawn Street and George Street were among the worst affected.

Renfrew’s Paisley Road also featured high on the list of most call outs in the last two years.

Reports have reached triple figures most years — with the largest number of calls made in 2016.

Almost 150 syringes were reported that year.

Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership has urged drug users to make use of safe needle exchanges to prevent used drug equipment being discarded on the streets.

Renfrewshire Drug Service – which supports addicts – offers the exchange service, as do other projects operating in the area.

The Injecting Equipment Project – which aims to increase safety for drug users – has eight outlets throughout Renfrewshire and during 2019/20 there were 1,269 clients and 112,16 transactions.

(Image: Andrew Neil)

A spokesman for Renfrewshire HSCP said: “We would encourage people to dispose of any injecting equipment safely.

“The HSCP offers provisions for this at the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service, Back Sneddon Centre in Paisley and people can also use participating community pharmacies throughout Renfrewshire.

“We can also provide sharps bins for people to discard needles safely. These can then be returned to Back Sneddon Centre, participating pharmacies or their GP practice.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “Our wardens have removed and disposed of the needles.

“We will continue to check the site as part of our regular patrols.”

Health chiefs warn used syringes put the public at risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

But experts maintain the risk of catching diseases is low.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde urged caution around discarded syringes.

A spokesman said: “Needle exchange services are designed to reduce the spread of blood borne viruses and related infections.

“They provide a safe place for the disposal of used injecting equipment, as well as providing health advice and signposting people to treatment services.

“Evidence demonstrates that this is a highly effective and cost-effective public health intervention that benefits individuals and communities.

“It is important that if a discarded needle is found, it should not be touched or handled.

“In all cases, the local environmental or cleansing agency should be contacted.”

Daily Record – Paisley