For the past few weeks, discarded needles have been found in the Scotts Head Reserve public toilets prompting locals to issue a warning to their community.
Reflections Holiday Park manager Nathan Evelyn maintains the reserve and parkland facilities and says it was his staff that discovered the needles in both the male and female loos.
“We found a spoon in the rafters too,” Nathan said.
I think as a village we have to be aware and to knock it on the head straight away.
“I love the town, it’s a fantastic place, but we can’t have this going on.”
He said his staff, who are trained to handle sharps, found more needles every couple of days over the last few weeks.
While it is a rare occurrence to find discarded syringes in the idyllic coastal hamlet, Nathan and his team said they will now install a sharps disposal box in the toilets to try to prevent anyone coming to harm.
Chief Inspector Guy Flaherty said that there had been issues in the past around improper disposal of needles in the Nambucca Valley, but he doesn’t think there has been an increase in drug-related behaviour recently.
“It’s fairly rare for us to come across dumped syringes,” Chief Insp. Flaherty said.
“In terms of crime, the symptoms of rising drug use, like motor vehicle and house break-ins, haven’t been there with exception to the latest spate of break-ins in Nambucca Heads.
“Obviously needles are concerning because there are the dangers of Hepatitus C and other blood-borne diseases that could be transferred.
“If a member of the public does come across a used syringe, then we would ask them to not handle it without gloves or appropriate protection.”
While police say there are no signs of increased drug activity in the Valley, a drug-driving unit recently stopped 60 vehicles along the Pacific Highway just outside Nambucca Heads, with 10 of those drivers’ tests indicating a presence of amphetamines and cannabis.
Chief Inspector Flaherty said that the results of are in line with state averages but that police will continue maintaining a presence on the roads in the lead up to the school holidays.
“And we’ll have police bikes on daily from school holidays onwards,” Chief Inspector Flaherty said.