"Absolutely disgraceful": Needle found in fly-tipping mess near Northampton park where children and families walk

"When it comes to now finding needles, this is a step too far"

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:06 am

A needle, which is associated with injecting hard drugs into the body, has been found next to a fly-tip on a popular family walking route in Northampton.

Lorraine Gallacher, from Kingsthorpe, was out walking her dog on a footpath towards Harlestone Firs at the weekend (March 14) when she came across the needle at Dallington Heath, near Mill Lane.

The fly-tipping has gradually got worse in that particular area in the last 12 months, according to Lorraine, but when she saw the needle, she said enough was enough.

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The needle was found among the fly-tip at Dallington Heatth
The needle was found among the fly-tip at Dallington Heatth

Lorraine said: "It's absolutely disgraceful, the fly-tipping, and just a few yards away a hypodermic needle. Dallington Heath is very popular with dog walkers, families and horse riders.

"It needs bringing to Northampton Borough Council or the land owner's attention to get this under control. There has always been fly-tipping in this area, but it has increased over the last 12 to 18 months and is now off the scale. They put signs up saying people will be prosecuted but this is clearly not happening or being followed up.

"When it comes to now finding needles, this is a step too far, hence reaching out to the paper and trying to actually get someone's attention who might actually deal with the issue."

Lorraine added that she would like to see cameras installed in the area to catch fly-tippers and needle users in action.

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a national problem and everyone’s responsibility.

“We would always ask anyone who discovers a fly-tip to report it to us as soon as possible via our website or app, particularly if they find anything which might present a danger to the public. The more information we have, the better placed we are to ensure we direct our resources appropriately.

“We’re very grateful to those who have reported this particular fly-tip and we would like to reassure them that we are working on a resolution. In all cases, our Neighbourhood Wardens undertake the unpleasant task of investigating to see if they can find evidence of who is responsible, but we also rely on the support of members of the public.”

The severity of fly-tipping in Northampton will be addressed by the new council when it comes into force next month, according to a senior councillor.

Deputy mayor Rufia Ashraf has called on West Northamptonshire Council to tackle the issue after it was revealed the town has the fourth-highest fly-tipping rate in England.

According to London-based solicitors, Moss and Co, fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a magistrates’ court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a crown court.

To see what the government says on fly-tipping, click here.

According to the NHS website, injuries from needles used in medical procedures are sometimes called needle-stick or sharps injuries. Sharps can include other medical supplies, such as syringes, scalpels and lancets, and glass from broken equipment.

Once someone has used a needle, viruses in their blood, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV, may contaminate it. This includes needles used to inject illegal drugs. Blood can also contaminate sharps.