The number of call outs to needle-strewn streets in Aberdeen has increased by 10% in a year.
Figures obtained by the Evening Express through a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) shows the team that clears drug litter for Aberdeen City Council has removed 1,865 syringes from the streets in the last four years.
In that space of time, the council received 470 call outs from the public requesting their removal.
In 2014 to 2015, the local authority was called out 92 times to collect the needles, in 2015 to 2016 there was a 54% increase, with council workers cleaning up needles on 142 occasions.
During the financial year 2016 to 2017, the council was called 112 times, and from 2017 to the end of March in 2018, services were called to collect the drug litter 124 times – a 10% increase.
Some of the city’s hot spots include Foresterhill Road, Gallowgate, Great Northern Road, Justice Street, Park Road, Pennan Road, Rose Street, School Road, The Green, Union Street and Victoria Road.
Out of these city streets, council workers were called the most to Gallowgate, Pennan Road, Union Street and Victoria Road – with 11 site visits in four years.
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Fraser Hoggan, chief executive of Alcohol and Drugs Action (ADA), would not encourage the public to pick up these littered syringes.
He said: “We have a needle exchange service and also offer other outreach services in the city.
“When an individual comes to use our services we are able to link them to other support services they may need.
“We will look at other circumstances and factors and not just the drug use.
“There could be many reasons why we see these figures – but the 10% increase shows there is still a need for our services.
“We would ask people not to be picking up these needles – instead alert someone to the location.
“We need to know immediately if this is the case.
“They need to be picked up with special equipment which people in the community do not have access to.
“Alert the environmental services of the needle’s location and, for children, find a responsible adult who can phone the environmental service and report the finding.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “We encourage anyone who finds a discarded needle to report it immediately to ensure safe disposal.”
For more information on ADA’s needle exchange services, visit www.bit.ly/2rHQp5i