Warmer weather exposes hidden needles: Police

Matt
Matt Gardner
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The onset of warmer weather has the Prince Albert Police Service warning residents to watch out for needles that were previously hidden in the snow.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Const. Brandon Mudry noted that dealing with the deluge of exposed needles each spring is something of an annual tradition for local police.

“Every spring we deal with needle pickup within the city, and unfortunately it’s just something we have to deal with every time the snow melts,” Mudry said.

While more residents report finding needles as spring approaches, cases of related injuries appear few and far between.

“To my knowledge, I’m not aware of any reports of people injured from picking up needles,” Mudry said.

Police are urging residents to use caution when handling needles and have offered a range of tips for those who choose to do so.

When picking up a needle, one should find a small hard container with a lid that needles would be unable to poke through, such as a pop bottle or plastic container. Police also recommend wearing gloves and close-toed shoes.

Preferably using tongs, the syringe should be picked up by the plunger end.

“Keep the pointed end away from you,” Mudry said. “Never try to cap the needle.”

After putting the needle in the container and placing the lid on tightly, anyone who has handled the needle should wash their hands.

Every spring we deal with needle pickup within the city, and unfortunately it’s just something we have to deal with every time the snow melts. Const. Brandon Mudry

The container with the needle inside should then be taken to the Needle Exchange Program at 101-101 15th St. E. in Prince Albert, which is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Individuals who are not comfortable handling needles should contact the Needle Exchange Program for Safe Needle Clean Up at 306-765-6533.

After business hours or if the needle is located at a school, residents should contact the Prince Albert Fire Department at 306-953-4284.

Though police receive calls related to needles, they are typically redirected to one of the aforementioned organizations.

“People do phone into the police service to have needles picked up,” Mudry said. “We refer them obviously to the appropriate resources.”

See also:

Prolonged snow melt delays spring needle find

Organizations: Prince Albert, Prince Albert Fire Department

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  • greg riehl
    March 13, 2014 - 10:36

    I was happy to read that the police are actually not raising alarm bells regarding needles found in the community, which is nice. There has never been a case of HIV or hepatitis transmitted via a needle stick injury in the community in our province.....ever....Needles in the community are a trash issue, the health issue is maybe for tetanus at best. Disposing needles properly is a good thing, just like disposing other trash is a good thing...