Needles littering city big concern for Tweel

Dave Stewart
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Charlottetown city councillor Mitchell Tweel stands near the spot on Queen Street where he saw some used needles lying in the grass. Tweel wants to inform members of the public that if they find needles they shoiuld contact the Charlottetown Police Services and not to handle them.

Charlottetown councillor wants public information campain on what public should do when drug-use needles are seen

Mitchell Tweel says the City of Charlottetown needs to inject its residents with information when it comes to needles.

The city councillor spoke at Monday night’s regular public monthly meeting about the fact that more and more residents are finding needles on the street.

These are needles that were previously used for drug use and the pose a major health risk to the population, he said.

“I’ve been approached by residents in the community that I represent by email and I’m being stopped on the street about needles being on the street (and) in gangways,’’ Tweel said, “and how dangerous they are considering how a lot of young children are in the area.’’

He wants the city to come up with a communications strategy.

“I’m concerned about the severity of the situation. I would like to see a communications strategy from the Charlottetown police department so that when people do see needles on the street or in parks, or wherever the case may be, to have then immediately contact the Charlottetown police department on non-emergency complaints to ensure that the needles are picked up ASAP.’’

This certainly isn’t a new problem in the capital city. Tim Hortons, for example, acted two years ago by installing sharp disposal boxes in its public washrooms at the Kent Street location after staff began finding needles disposed of randomly around the rooms.

The Island Waste Management Corporation has also said in the past that its workers have been stuck by needles that make their way through in the trash. Anyone who does get pricked has to undergo a series of tests to ensure they’re not infected with Hepatitis C.

Tweel said he has contacted police when he receives an email or is told by residents where they are finding these needles.

The councillor said people need to be told not to pick up the needles.

“A lot of our residents are not aware that we have a mechanism to deal with needles that are on our streets and possibly in the parks. This is not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for the past few years and I’m concerned about the severity of the situation.’’

Coun. David MacDonald, chairman of the committee responsible for the police department, said it’s a good suggestion.

Tweel said he isn’t pointing to specific areas in the city where the needles issue is especially prevalent.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to label one part of the city over another. Drugs and drug usage is prevalent throughout the city.’’

Tweel said Operation Clean Sweep in January proves how serious the drug issue is. That four-month investigation led to close to 40 arrests.

“Needles are being left on our streets here in the city. I just want residents to be aware that they have an opportunity to do something about it. Pick up the phone and call the police department.’’

Organizations: ASAP, Tim Hortons, Island Waste Management

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kent Street

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Recent comments

  • w kennedy
    May 14, 2014 - 11:02

    Charlottetown has a bad mold problem. Maybe people are used to it but to an outsider [tourist] it smells. As it can cause Toxic Mold Syndrome after everything is wet from rain Potassium Chloride or maybe sea water could be applied by a crop dusting plane. Also please curb the "Hell's Angels" and maybe collect some money by fining the unbelievably loud motor cycles with defective exhausts?

    • C'mon
      May 16, 2014 - 10:01

      where are you getting your info on this mold issue from?

  • rob
    May 13, 2014 - 16:12

    giving reason for the phrase "sweeping the problem under the rug".

  • same story
    May 13, 2014 - 12:43

    MY Gawd people make stupid comments on the thing. Drugs have take over every jurisdiction in North America but it is Doug Currie's fault there are needles in the streets of Chtown.

  • DougsProblem
    May 13, 2014 - 07:15

    I find needles need Prince Street school all the time.. they should all be picked up and dropped on Doug Currie's doorstep! He is the one that is ensuring that this problem isn't going away.... where oh where is that long awaited report from Dr. Rhonda Matters???? Perhaps we need to do a "study" to find out what is taking so long!