Girl, 6, faces wait on hospital tests after being pricked by needle at Taunton park

Nick Smith and daughter Millie-Mae.

Some of those concerned about public drug use gathered at Victoria Park.

First published in News by

A FAMILY is anxiously awaiting the results of hospital tests after a six-year-old girl accidentally pricked herself with a needle at a popular Taunton park.

Nick Smith told the County Gazette of his horror after his daughter Millie-Mae was taken to hospital after picking up a used needle in the public toilets in Victoria Park and pricked her leg with it.

He has now set up a Facebook group which aims to highlight the problem of drug users injecting themselves in public places in the Taunton area, and more than 1,100 people have joined it already.

Police say they are aware of the problem and are increasing patrols of hotspot areas – and county councillors are exploring the possibility of a local ban on legal highs.

Millie-Mae was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital on Friday evening and given preventative injections. Doctors also carried out tests to identify any contamination and say it will take three months for the results to come back.

Nick said: “We were very traumatised.

“We want something to be done and I have got a group with more than 1,000 local people on Facebook who all say there is a massive problem with drug users injecting themselves in open public spaces in Taunton Deane.

“The police should be putting more effort into catching the drug dealers in the area because they are the real criminals.

“From what I've heard from other people and also the police, it's the people who are mixing legal highs with methadone that are causing the main problem.”

Methadone is a drug prescribed by doctors to addicts as a substitute for heroin.

Somerset county councillor Simon Coles, whose ward covers the Victoria Park area, met angry residents this week.

He said: “This is not a new problem but it is one that needs to be dealt with.

“Local authorities can make and change bylaws and we are looking into this as one option but we are looking at all the options to deal with this problem.

“The trouble we have is that makers of a legal high only need to change one ingredient to make it a different but essentially the same substance – that makes them very hard to control.”

Police say they will be increasing patrols of public toilets known for being hotspots for discarded needles and other items linked to drug use.

PC Jim Breakwell said: “We know there is a lot of concern about used needles, particularly from people with young children who might pick them up out of curiosity, and we are working to tackle the issue.

“Not only does drug litter put us at risk, it spoils our community spaces and affects how safe people feel in their neighbourhood.

“This isn’t a problem that one agency alone can tackle – we need to work together to improve the situation.

“We’re working closely with the council on this but the community can play their part by reporting used needles as they are spotted.”

Comments (5)

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1:53pm Thu 4 Sep 14

T_12345 says...

This is disgusting, i have seen an increase of sharps in Taunton lately and it needs to be sorted out. These people that are doing it are ill and they need help very quickly, the ones that don't accept help are scum.
This is disgusting, i have seen an increase of sharps in Taunton lately and it needs to be sorted out. These people that are doing it are ill and they need help very quickly, the ones that don't accept help are scum. T_12345
  • Score: 11

1:27pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

There is usually a load of needles around Lindley house (Taunton Association for the Homeless)

Maybe the council could have more regular cleaning patrols around there or volunteers from Lindley house could pick them up?

I hope this little girl gets the good news everyone wants to hear.
There is usually a load of needles around Lindley house (Taunton Association for the Homeless) Maybe the council could have more regular cleaning patrols around there or volunteers from Lindley house could pick them up? I hope this little girl gets the good news everyone wants to hear. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: 5

6:25am Sun 7 Sep 14

ladybird14 says...

it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!!
it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!! ladybird14
  • Score: -1

6:33am Sun 7 Sep 14

ladybird14 says...

ladybird14 wrote:
it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!!
sorry it should read SAVE the country a lot of MONEY !! not SAFE but thinking about it would make it safer for our children and others .....
typing error but this sort of thing really does get to me !!
[quote][p][bold]ladybird14[/bold] wrote: it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!![/p][/quote]sorry it should read SAVE the country a lot of MONEY !! not SAFE but thinking about it would make it safer for our children and others ..... typing error but this sort of thing really does get to me !! ladybird14
  • Score: -1

10:33am Mon 8 Sep 14

ToytownTim says...

ladybird14 wrote:
ladybird14 wrote:
it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!!
sorry it should read SAVE the country a lot of MONEY !! not SAFE but thinking about it would make it safer for our children and others .....
typing error but this sort of thing really does get to me !!
Agreed.
[quote][p][bold]ladybird14[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ladybird14[/bold] wrote: it would help if when the police catch theses scum they are locked up and not just given warning and a pat on the back and sent to waste N.H..S money and put on programs as a lot of them still use as well, they are just time waster !!Put them all one a island in the middle of nowhere and give them all the drugs they want until they kill themselves at least they would be out of the way of normal people and would probably safe the country a lot of money in the long run!!!! My heart goes out to this family i can't begin to think how they must be feeling if this was my daugther i wish them well .I can't believe we are in 2014 and they have to wait 3 MONTHS!!! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP THIS FAMILY OUT THEY MUST BE GOING OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!![/p][/quote]sorry it should read SAVE the country a lot of MONEY !! not SAFE but thinking about it would make it safer for our children and others ..... typing error but this sort of thing really does get to me !![/p][/quote]Agreed. ToytownTim
  • Score: -1
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