Beach cleaner had to pick up THREE dirty syringes with her bare hands on routine litter pick in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 14:50 12 December 2019

Needles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren Arnold

Needles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren Arnold

Archant

An eco-warrior had to pick up three used syringes unearthed on Exmouth’s beach with her bare hands – and has blasted the find as ‘appalling’.

Needles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren ArnoldNeedles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren Arnold

Ren Arnold discovered the drug paraphernalia when she conducted a routine litter pick on Exmouth's seafront on the weekend of December 7.

Ms Arnold, who lives in Exeter but travels to Exmouth around four times a month, had carried out more clean-ups of the beach after the seafront was hit by several storms recently.

She found the first syringe by the steps leading up to the Harbour View Café, and another two close to the Octagon.

Ms Arnold said: "It looked like they were washed up by the ocean - people could have been taking drugs and throwing them (the syringes) into the sea.

Needles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren ArnoldNeedles found on Exmouth seafront. Picture: Ren Arnold

"I was appalled - one syringe still had the sharp needle intact."

Ms Arnold was carrying a sharps box with her, but said she had to make an exception and handle the paraphernalia with her bare hands to get it off the beach.

She said if she had not, dog walkers and their pets could have been exposed to the syringes and been scratched by them - potentially opening themselves up to health implications.

Ms Arnold said "I felt it would have been irresponsible to have left them there.

"If I had, there would have been a possibility that a dog might have picked it up."

The 35-year-old said the issue could be tackled further by East Devon District Council (EDDC) stepping up patrols of the beach.

She said 'irresponsible' users should realise that leaving syringes on the beach puts 'lots of people at risk'.

It's not the first time that drug paraphernalia has been discovered on Exmouth' seafront.

In 2016, Shauna Jacobs' fun on the beach was ruined when her nine-year-old daughter Ella picked up a dirty syringe near Orcombe Point.

Speaking at the time, the St Thomas resident said: "It hasn't put us off from coming back to Exmouth, but I will be purchasing jelly shoes and the kids will be wearing them."


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