A charity which helps some 400 heroin addicts has started a campaign to bin every used needle after a nine-year-old girl was accidentally stabbed by a discarded syringe in a Keighley park.
Figures obtained by the Telegraph & Argus show that in the last 12 months, Bradford Council street cleaners logged 77 incidents where they found dirty needles around the town.
And members of the public reported 145 incidents of discarded syringes across the Bradford district during the same 12 months.
Mike Cadger is the chief executive of Project 6 in Temple St, a charity funded by Bradford Council and other bodies which helps people cope with and defeat drug addictions.
“My response to the figures is that these are worryingly high and raise concerns about public safety,” Mr Cadger said.
And he said after reports of the young girl injured by a needle while playing hide-and-seek in Devonshire Park, Project 6 started a month-long campaign called Bin The Pin.”
Mr Cadger said it was vital to keep repeating the message that syringes must be disposed of safely.
“We regularly have campaigns on matters like this and people are always encouraged to return the needles to us in the sharp bins which they are given along with the clean syringes,” Mr Cadger said.
He said Project 6 actually takes back more needles than it gives out.
Project 6 worker Ellie McNeil said they closely monitored people’s returns of needles and that the gentle incentive of a free chocolate bar for every full bin was proving a success.
A Bradford Council spokesman said its staff did everything possible to keep district roads and streets clear of dangerous debris.
“Where a needle report comes in it is treated as an emergency. During the daytime hours the case is passed to the nearest clean-team. Out of hours it is passed to the highways standby operative.”