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Monthly News Bulletin

Back to 2004 News Archive

Syringe Found by Primary Pupil

A DISCARDED syringe was lifted by a pupil in the playing fields at Sheuchan Primary School in Stranraer.

After picking up the syringe, which had a hypodermic needle attached, last Wednesday, the pupil was taken to the Garrick Hospital as a precautionary measure, and was given the all-clear.

The syringe was spotted lying in the middle of the playing fields behind the school by the child, who is a junior pupil at Sheuchan, during a morning break.

Parents were informed of the incident, and a police officer visited the school to talk to children about what actions to take if they ever find a syringe.

The council’s Commercial Services department were also called in to clear away leaves from the surface of the playing fields.

Councillor for Stranraer North, Tommy Sloan, who was contacted by the school, stressed that this was an isolated incident and praised staff for their handling of it. He said:

“I am delighted with the way the school dealt with the matter — they did everything that they should have done.

“The pupil was taken to hospital, and was thankfully found to have no injuries, the police were informed, and the parents were contacted about the incident."

As well as praising the school’s actions, Mr Sloan expressed his “disappointment” at what appears to have been carelessness on the part of the owner of the needle.

“The fact that the syringe was found in the middle of the playing fields suggests it was accidentally dropped by someone passing through after the school closed — there’s no suggestion that people are gathering in the field to use drugs.

“It has long been accepted that there are people in Stranraer who have a problem with drugs, but you would still expect them to be a bit more considerate of others.

“It is important to keep an eye on the situation and protect schools from this sort of thing as far as possible, but we don’t want to turn these places into fortresses.”

Sergeant David Ferguson of Stranraer Police said that schools in the area were “well briefed” in the procedure if needles are found. He said:

“There is a procedure to follow for a school child if ever they find a needle, which is not to touch it and to tell a teacher, who can then notify the police.

“We have a very positive relationship with local schools, with a programme of visits geared at education on the issues, as well as a dedicated community officer for each school who can be contacted.”

The Head Teacher of Sheuchan, Jean Best, declined to comment on the incident.

 
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