A MOTHER was horrified when her three-year-old daughter found a used hypodermic syringe near their home in Bournemouth.

Joanne Davies, 22, was shocked when little Lacey picked up the dirty needle, believed to have been used for injecting heroin, near their flat in Cunningham Crescent, West Howe.

The mum said seeing discarded needles was a regular occurrence. “We’ve got a few problems with drug addicts around here.

“My flats have a lot of kids in them, from zero to eight years old. They run around on a regular basis,” she said.

“My daughter came up to me the other day with a needle in her hand. I was disgusted – I was stood in my garden screaming.”

The mum, who also has a five-month-old daughter, Olivia, added: “If one of them had trodden on it or fallen on it, it would have gone into their foot. I don’t want to lose my kids because of drug addicts around here.

“I’m sick and fed up with it.”

Ward councillor Ted Taylor said he had not heard any complaints from residents about discarded needles and was not aware of West Howe having a particular drugs problem.

“I’m obviously concerned about this and as a councillor can bring it up with housing and landlord services. You can go anywhere in Bournemouth and find discarded needles. It’s an international issue and something everyone is concerned about.”

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “We are liaising with the lady in order to investigate the matter and address her concerns.

“Illegal drug use is a priority for Dorset Police, as shown by Operation Dismantle. As a result of this operation 29 people have been arrested in the Bournemouth area on suspicion of drugs offences since last Wednesday.”

Ian Shaw, housing manager at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “This is a rare, but extremely unfortunate incident. We take reports of drug misuse very seriously and continue to work in partnership with Dorset Police to help stamp out illegal drugs and associated behaviours.”

Bournemouth has a confidential needle exchange service, providing free sterile injecting equipment and safe disposal of needles.

Chris Snelling, of the Bournemouth Drug and Alcohol Team, said he was “disappointed” at the find.

Anyone seeing a discarded needle is advised to contact the council immediately.

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