The number of dirty needles found in Dundee’s streets has fallen dramatically after a new initiative targeted problem areas.
The number of needles, commonly used to inject drugs in public, has dropped by almost two thirds with fewer than 700 found last year, compared to 1845 in 2017/18.
For years, the city has struggled to rid itself of the high volume of dangerous paraphernalia found lying in streets.
The scourge is caused as users simply throw their used needles away, or put items down drains or service hatches.
The worst areas affected in recent times have been Stobswell, the city centre, Hilltown and Lochee.
Last year however, Lochee saw just 35 collected by council wardens — almost 700 fewer than the year before when it was the worst area in the city.
The city centre, Hilltown, Stobswell, Douglas, and Ardler have also seen big drops.
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The reduction comes as those throwing away the potentially life-threatening needles are targeted and educated by council chiefs to reduce the risk to the public.
Councillor Alan Ross, community safety and public protection convener, said the programme had been working heavily in specific problems areas.
He said: “The Dundee Community Safety Partnership has a drugs related litter group to deal with the problem of used needles and other drugs waste inappropriately disposed of in the city.
“It works to reduce the amount of needle litter by identifying problem areas through reports received about discarded needles. These areas are then targeted to raise awareness and identify the people responsible so they can be educated on the best way to dispose of their used needles safely.
“No one should attempt to lift a discarded needle themselves.
He added there is a single point of contact phone number that can be used 24 hours a day for a rapid response to remove the “potential danger”.
Areas such as the West End and Broughty Ferry saw almost no hypodermic needles reported to the council.
Conversely, the areas to see a significant rise include Whitfield, Menzieshill, and Kirkton.
In recent years, councillors have called for action on the problem.
Three years ago, Scottish Water pulled dozens of used hypodermic needles from drains and service hatches in a housing estate in Ardler.
If a needle is found, the public is asked to call the rapid response team on 01382 433 063.