Warning to community following discovery of used needles in west Belfast
THE discovery of a quantity of used hypodermic needles in west Belfast reflects the "significant increase" in the use of intravenous drug use in the city, it has been warned.
A PSNI patrol in the Grosvenor Road area on Monday came across the needles, prompting police to call for locals to be "vigilant" .
A spokesperson said in a social media post: "Whilst performing a foot patrol of the Grosvenor Road area, officers from West Belfast Neighbourhood Policing Team discovered a significant quantity of hypodermic needles associated with intravenous drug use.
"It goes without saying how dangerous this is to members of the public and animals who could have encountered them. These 18 needles have been disposed of and we will be working with our partner agencies to tackle drug use in this area."
The spokesperson added: "Please be vigilant if you come across discarded needles like this in the future - do not touch them or put yourself or others at risk."
Belfast SDLP councillor Paul McCusker told the Irish News that the discovery was "concerning".
He said: "This highlights the serious problems of drug use and those caught up with addiction in our communities.
"The need for more earlier intervention and support for those suffering from an addiction is needed badly, as we have seen a significant increase in intravenous drug use in the city."
Mr McCusker added: "Used needles pose a risk to the local community and I would advise the public to report any needles and do not touch them, phone Belfast City Council on 028 9027 0469 or police on 101."