We understand via the Herne Hill Safer Neighbourhood Panel that a frighteningly large quantities of discarded needles/syringes are strewn about in Brockwell Park, according to local residents with children that play in there.
They are mostly concentrated within the bushes, where children naturally like to run about in and play. To describe the quantities as ‘scores’ is no exaggeration, we hear.
Our Police Community Support Officers do excellent and effective work in knife and weapon searches, often finding needles etc., but the police are not caretakers and cleaners. Dealing with the needles is a specialised job with Health and Safety implications and the Council, with financial support from central government, possibly via the Mayor’s Office, to make this possible, needs to address this issue. People are recalling a case in 1992 when a 7-year-old found such a needle having unknowingly pricked herself on it. Fortunately, hospital tests gave her full clearance but it could so easily have been a different outcome.
The relevant local councillors in Lambeth have been made aware of this situation, but any parents with children likely to visit the park should perhaps be conscious of the risk and keep an eye on where the children are venturing.