Stephen met with more than 40 members of the Butetown community on Friday evening, who are campaigning for swifter action on discarded needles in parks, children’s playgrounds and residential areas.
The residents have serious concerns about the number of hypodermic needles, syringes and other drug paraphernalia being discarded in the area, and the risk this poses to local people – especially children – and are calling on the council and police to look into the situation urgently.
Stephen joined the group on Friday for a short walk around the area, and saw first-hand the extent of the problem.
“I was shocked by how many needles we found discarded within the space of just a few hundred yards,” he said.
“It has been a concern for some time, and is something the residents desperately want action on, as they fear for their children’s safety.
“They tell me that before the youngsters can play football on the park, the adults have to check for needles first – and many residents have also found them outside their houses or near local playgrounds.
“Discarded needles pose a real threat to the public, particularly children who don’t realise the potential consequences of picking them up,” added Stephen.
“I have already been in touch with the council and the police to ask for urgent action on this, both in terms of an immediate clear-up and in fuller engagement with residents on this issue.
“I also intend to meet with local hostels and health professionals to see what more can be done to stop this problem.
“We must all work together on this.”
If you find discarded needles, you should call the council on 029 2087 2087 or police via the 101 number.