A used needle found by a seven-year-old boy has prompted calls for Dundee to spend more on a safe disposal awareness campaign.
West End councillor Fraser Macpherson has called for money to be spent on information telling people how to safely dispose of needles used in drug taking.
He said while instances are lower in the West End, the recent case of a young boy finding a dirty needle in a stairwell convinced him of the need to talk to the public about the issue.
“I had a particular constituent contact me after her son found a needle in a stairwell,” Mr Macpherson said.
“He did the right thing and didn’t touch it but I think it is very important to make people aware of what to do.
“Some of the monies are used to tackle social issues in the city and I think we should be looking at a public campaign to let people know who they should be contacting.”
The environment department is responsible for managing Dundee City Council’s rapid response team, which deals with discarded hypodermic needles.
The issue of needles being discarded in inappropriate places is not new, especially as they are often found by children playing.
In recent cases where youngsters have been pricked their parents have faced anxious waits for medical testing to see if they have contracted diseases such as hepatitis B or C.
Mr Macpherson’s proposal, which was heard by officers on the council’s policy and resources committee, was to use funds from the community safety partnership’s leaflets budget.
A spokesman for the council told The Courier: “The Dundee Community Safety Partnership has a drugs-related litter group to deal with the problem of used needles and other drugs-related litter that is inappropriately disposed of.
“The group works to reduce the amount of needle litter by identifying problem areas through reports about discarded needles.
“These areas are then targeted to raise awareness and identify the people responsible.
“By use of posters, leaflets and direct contact by partners, drug users are educated on the best way to dispose of their used needles safely.
“To simplify the safe collection of needles there is a single point of contact phone number. This can be used 24 hours a day for a rapid response to remove the danger.
“The contact number is 01382 433063.”