The main message is Do not touch a discarded needle, syringe or other injecting equipment. Children should be advised to tell a responsible adult, such as a teacher, police officer or parent as soon as possible.
Your first action should be to report it to the city council on 01733 747474. A dedicated syringe removal service operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and you can reach them out of hours by calling 01733 864157.
Removing a discarded needle yourself
If there is a need for you to remove the needle immediately, for example if it is found near a children’s play area or somewhere it is likely to cause injury, the following guidance is recommended:
- Do not touch the needle with your bare hands
- If possible, wear heavy duty gloves and pick up the needle using tongs at arm’s length. Never use scissors
- Alternatively, carefully sweep the needle into a dustpan, sweeping away from your body
- Needles should be picked up by the middle of the barrel and placed needle-end first into a plastic or metal container, preferably something with a lid. If necessary, use a hard plastic bottle or drinks can
- Do not dispose of it down a drain; place it in a normal dustbin; or attempt to flush it down the toilet
- Once in a safe container, take it to your local pharmacy for safe disposal
- Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards
What to do if you are pricked by a discarded needle
If you are accidentally pricked by a needle, ensure the wound bleeds and wash it immediately with soap and water. Cover the wound with a waterproof dressing and seek emergency medical advice as soon as possible.
The SaferPeterborough partnership works with needle exchanges to promote safe disposal of needles and injecting equipment in our city. Needle exchanges give out small portable needle bins to people who need them and there are a number of community needle bins to help people dispose of their injecting equipment safely. To find the latest list of pharmacies offering needle exchange then visit the change grow live website.
If you have any concerns about discarded needles, call 01733 747474 and ask for the SaferPeterborough team or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SaferPeterborough’s vision is to develop a sustainable approach to reducing the harm caused by alcohol within the city to individuals, families and communities.
Specialist alcohol intervention treatment is provided in Peterborough by Drinksense. They provide advice, information, therapeutic counselling and a range of support services for people with alcohol-related problems and their carers and families in Cambridgeshire.