Blood-stained needle left in hallway of Northampton flat block for days amid drug users issues

A blood-stained needle was left in the communal hallway of a Northampton block of flats for days before being removed amid issues with drug misuse.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:19 pm
The blood-stained needle left in the hallway in Dover Court block of flats in Northampton for days

Dover Court resident Shaun Chapman said he noticed the syringe on Tuesday (October 15) and reported it to Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH), which manages the building.

But the needle was not taken away from the St James' Road building until yesterday (Friday) - NPH claims it was not made aware of the item until Wednesday.

Mr Chapman, 27, said: "I think it is unacceptable to leave a used needle for three days.

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Dover Court, St James' Road, Northampton

"If they did sort it out straight away when they could have, then they would have saved someone's life if they did fall onto it and get HIV god forbid. But they didn't."

The needle was left next to a radiator in the ground floor hallway, not far from the entrance, and Mr Chapman is adamant he saw it on Tuesday and reported it.

"It was a bit cringey and I'm a lad, but there are kids in the block and young women and it's not nice for people to walk past and see it," he said.

"And knowing that sort of people are around my property, it's unsafe and it's scary.

"For me it's okay because I can handle myself but if my missus was here on her own - anything could happen."

The syringe was still there yesterday morning but was gone by midday Friday.

An NPH spokesman said it was first reported to them on Wednesday but the cleaning contractors told the resident they were asked to remove it yesterday, which they did.

It is believed that cleaners came on Tuesday but could not find it and were distracted by some human faeces outside the building.

Mr Chapman has been left less than impressed with the conduct of his landlord as he felt it should have been cleaned within an hour.

"They just don't seem to care about the situation. I just feel like they get the rent and that's it, they don't care about how we feel as tenants."

The discarded needle is thought to be the result of a larger issue of some tenants letting drug users into Dover Court in the first place.

Mr Chapman said he has passed people taking drugs in the corridors and neighbours being raided by police but believes the issue is getting worse.

"I've been here for a few years now and there have been a couple of issues when they're in the hallway injecting so I've rang the police and they move them on but that's all they can do," he said.

The NPH spokesman said: "We received a report on Wednesday that there was a used needle in the communal area at Dover Court.

"The housing officer for the area visited the block and instructed contractors to remove the needle, which had been removed by Friday morning when he returned to inspect the block.

"The housing officer is spending time at Dover Court talking to residents about how to keep the block safe, which includes the importance of not allowing access to anyone they don’t know.

"We are also working pro-actively with the police and [Northampton borough] council’s outreach team to tackle issues related to substance misuse in our neighbourhoods."