A woman who found an addict’s syringe in a gutter as she walked her grand-daughter to nursery claims Keighley is cursed by drugs and teenage dealers who trade brazenly in broad daylight.
Sarah Bull contacted the Telegraph & Argus after reports that a Keighley girl is being tested for HIV-AIDs after accidentally jabbing herself on a junkie’s discarded needle in Devonshire Park.
The nine-year-old child was treated against infection at Airedale Hospital, but her parents have a three-month wait before she gets the all-clear.
Mrs Bull, who lives in the Highfield area, said: “It shocked me that a young girl has been stabbed with a needle, but it doesn’t surprise me.
“I found a used needle on Enfield Street a couple of weeks ago and I was in two minds whether to leave it. But I picked it up with a plastic bag and disposed of it in an appropriate manner. As a careworker, I’m trained in handling such things,” said Mrs Bull.
“The Highfield area is rife with drugs of all classes. I’ve been approached on and off by youths as young as 14 during the last year, asking if I am wanting to buy drugs. They are shameless and deal in broad daylight.
“I’ve lived all over the country, from Scotland to the South, and Keighley is one of the worst places for drugs I’ve seen,” Mrs Bull said.
“I’ve mentioned it to police and even traffic wardens, but I’ve not seen any improvements in three years.
“My view is they need to tackle the dealing which goes on all over the town – the reason there are needles and drugs litter all over the place is because there’s such a massive drugs trade.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said progress lay in police and the public teaming up against the drugs menace.
“I was most distressed to learn of the incident and reiterate my absolute support for the police’s efforts to take drugs and those who peddle them off the streets of Keighley.
“But we need the community’s support in doing so,” Mr Hopkins said.
“I therefore appeal to the residents to please pass on any information they have which might be of assistance to local officers in total confidence.
“We can and must work together to combat the horrors of drug use.”
Sergeant Mark Chapman, of the Keighley Area Neighbourhood Team, added: “We have been working with partners on ideas to tackle the issue of drug use in the park, and have been concentrating our high-visibility patrols in the area.
“We would also like to encourage anyone who witnesses drugs being used or supplied to report it to their NPT on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”