Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police respond to clean up hundreds of dumped syringes

The site where the needles were dumped before and after the GAT team cleared the area.

Our Greenspace Action Team (GAT) and West Yorkshire Police joined forces to make the public safe after hundreds of hypodermic syringes were dumped in woodland.

What happened? 

PCSO John Morrison from West Yorkshire Police attended a wooded area of Council owned land at Chapel Lane, Moldgreen where he found a large quantity of used hypodermic needles close to the road. Deeming the needles to be a danger to public health, he contacted our Environmental Health team late in the afternoon to ask if they could be cleaned up as soon as possible.

The enquiry was then passed on to the GAT, and an emergency site visit scheduled for the next morning. On arrival, our Environmental Rangers found the path and wooded area littered with syringes.

Greenspace Environmental Action Manager, Sam Connelly said:

“Our Rangers filled 12 Sharps Bins full of discarded and used syringes, many that had been left within easy reach of anyone passing through the woods. There really is no excuse for this as it is easy enough to dispose of needles safely rather than putting residents at risk of injury or potentially lethal infections.”

How many needles were collected? 

The Rangers estimated that over 300 needles were collected before being incinerated later that day.

Inspector Graham Dyson of the Kirklees Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“We work closely with partners in Kirklees Council to make communities in Huddersfield safer, and this has been a good example of both agencies working quickly together to identify and take action to combat a clear public health risk. I want to thank partners at the council’s Greenspace Action Team for acting so swiftly to remove these needles.”

What else have the GAT’s Enforcement Officers been up to? 

GAT’s Enforcement Officers have also enjoyed successes with the issuing of a significant number of fixed penalty notices in the last month.

The excellent results reflect our enhanced focus on environmental enforcement as part of its £2m investment in frontline service recovery.

The GAT issued a total of 47 Fixed Penalty Notices last month: 40 for various littering offences including eight for littering from cars, five for dog fouling, one for failing to produce waste transfer documents and one for fly-tipping.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“Once again our Enforcement Officers have shown their and reflected our determination to take a zero-tolerance attitude to anti-social behaviours that impact on our environment.
So many of our residents take pride in living in Kirklees and do their part in making sure it is a nice, clean, safe place to live. It is such a shame that we have a tiny minority that want to spoil it for the rest. Our partnership working with West Yorkshire Police and other agencies is critical to the success of our determination to crack down on environmental crime in Kirklees.”

Report fly-tipping

If you spot fly-tipping, it can be reported to Kirklees Council online at www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/report-a-problem.aspx

Do you have information? 

West Yorkshire Police is conducting enquiries regarding how the needles came to be dumped on Chapel Lane and anyone who saw them being dumped or who has information is asked to contact the Huddersfield NPT on 101 or the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.