Syringes found in Newton Poppleford toilets

The public toilets in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 08-16SH 5737. Picture: Simon Horn

The public toilets in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 08-16SH 5737. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Parents have been urged to stay vigilant after a number of syringes were found near Newton Poppleford Primary School – the first incident of its kind in the village.

The school newsletter shared a warning from the parish council that syringes were found in the disabled toilet off School Lane and in the grass and hedges nearby.

The police and East Devon District Council (EDDC), which leases the loos, have been informed about the incident and are taking action.

Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council chairman Councillor Hazel Jeffries told the Herald: “The parish council is astounded and deeply disappointed that someone using syringes has not safely disposed of their needles appropriately, ie, through a pharmacist.

“The council is making a number of improvements to the public toilets and aims to refurbish them, including automatic locking of the toilets and exploring the use of CCTV in the area.

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“The council is working with the police and EDDC to ensure the situation is monitored and any action is taken swiftly.”

She added that, following the incident on November 29, the cleaner who made the find removed all of the syringes and checked the surrounding area.

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Sergeant Andy Squires confirmed that officers will increase their patrols of the area. He encouraged residents to report any suspicious activity straight away.

The school newsletter said it was asked to share the warning as the car park and toilets are used by parents and children.

It said the incident followed an attempted arson the previous week, when someone tried to set light to the paper towels in the men’s toilets.

The conveniences were closed for a spell in February after a resident alleged that he was propositioned by another man for sex.

Anyone who finds a syringe is advised not to touch it, but contact EDDC’s StreetScene team on 01395 517528.

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