Discarded needle was left by council for 18 hours
A DISCARDED syringe, found by worried parents in a busy Dunfermline street where children were playing, was not collected by the council for 18 hours.
The huge delay, blamed on an office mix-up, caused a furious reaction among the parents in Adamson Crescent.
When no-one from the council had come to pick up the syringe after the two hours they said it would take to get there, a member of the public decided to ignore safety guidelines and pick it up himself.
Despite their glaring error, there was no apology from the council but instead a lecture to parents to warn their kids about the dangers of needles.
Debbie Patterson, who lives at 24 Adamson Crescent, found the needle lying in the road and her friend called the council.
"My friend, Nicola, phoned them on my mobile and they said they would be out in two hours to get the needle.
"They didn't come and I phoned the police but they said it wasn't something for them to deal with. A man came along the street and picked it up.
"My friends' kids and my wee sister all play out in the street. It's always busy with kids playing. We kept them in when the needle was there.
"No-one ever phoned me back from the council. As far as I know nobody came out."
Billy Philp lives in Oakley but his seven-year-old son lives in Adamson Crescent. He was keeping in touch with what was happening via friends on Facebook.
He said later, "The dirty syringe was reported to the council at 4.55pm on Thursday for them to come out and remove it.
"They said they would send someone out to deal with this but that it could take up to at least two hours to get someone out to remove it.
"They did not appear so I also phoned the police who stated to me that it is a job the council should deal with.
"A member of the public then had to put themselves at risk of catching a life-changing infection by doing a job the council should have done.
"I would like to know if the council would be willing to pay for all the children who play in this area to be tested as there is no way for sure of knowing if any of the children have came in contact with the dirty syringe.
"I would like a really good explanation from the council as to why once this was reported no-one turned up.
"Do you think they would have been as ignorant and disrespectful to the families in the street and surrounding areas if the same problem had occurred in their own street?
"I feel this is careless and insensitive to the families in the area."
Roddy Mann, Fife Council's senior manager of environmental operations, said, "We take the issue of discarded needles extremely seriously and try to be on site to remove needles within two hours of them being reported.
"We have a process in place to deal with discarded needles outwith normal working hours but unfortunately this was not put into place in this instance.
"The call about the discarded syringe came into the office at 5pm just as the office was closing and instead of being raised as an out-of-hours call it went into the system and was therefore not picked up until the office re-opened at 9am.
"An order was raised and the syringe was collected at 11am the following morning.
"We are taking steps to make sure that in future any calls made on the change-over period are not missed.
"In the meantime I would urge residents who are concerned about drug misuse in their area and needles being discarded indiscriminately to report this to the police who will take the appropriate action.
"It's an unfortunate fact that people are thoughtlessly disposing of needles in areas where they could be picked up by children.
"It's important that parents remind their children about the dangers of touching them and to leave them alone until we can deal with the issue."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
May 4, 09:10
OK the council made a mess of it but why would anyone even leave the thing lying in the street for 2 hours?
Come on, how hard would it have been to use a piece of card to shove the thing into a container to keep it away from the kids until someone collected it? Will we ever get a week in the DP without someone moaning about the council not sorting their bin, rat or bus service.
Recommend? Yes 15 No 2
May 8, 04:21
So sick and tired of hearing that 'Fife Council' take things so serious!! Do u lot (FC) think that we are all zipped up the back? Fife Council dont give a hoot about Fife...its all about stickin to budgets etc..and that has nothin to do with the look out or care of this kingdom... do they not realise now in this day and age that we all know this? They wont do council house repairs now even unless there is a dangerous situation. Everythin is decorative now..i have to say..lots of fc employees are so forthcoming an would do everything they can to help us..but the big wigs say NO!! I left my job with Fife Council because of exactly this!!
Recommend? Yes 6 No 4
May 8, 21:30
Fair point, but the first poster is absolutely correct too. If you can put a bag over your hand to scoop up your dog's no2, you can find some way to lift a syringe (eg a rolled up newspaper) and sit it in the top of a bin until the appropriate person comes to collect it. When budgets are tight, I'm sure 'send man to pick up syringe' would come lower down the list than many other more immediate priorities, however compelling the need to lift said syringe is.
Recommend? Yes 7 No 2
May 10, 08:39
Fife councillors are more interested in expenses, lunches and pet projects rather than what they claimed for themselves when they stood for election!
Standard footpaths, not split usage footpaths, in Fife are problematic at all levels from discarded hypodermic needles through to them being wholly blocked by inconsiderate self centred individuals.
Works vans including those of Fife Council parked wholly on footpaths!
Cars and vans parked wholly on footpaths whilst drivers answer their mobile phones!
ĎAdultí cyclist cycling on standard footpaths forcing their way through walkers!
Couples, often with two pushchairs walking side by side, or groups strung across the full width of the footpath expecting other users to step in mud or the road to make way for them!
Joggers expecting everyone to move out their way so they do not have to break their stride!
What have these in common?
Fife Council and Fife Constabulary turn a blind eye to activities of self centred individuals who misuse footpaths and many other public facilities!
Recommend? Yes 11 No 1