DISCARDED syringes have led to East Lothian Council ordering additional checks of the Greenhills area on the edge of Prestonpans.

Greg McGown, the community warden for the area, was alerted to the problem by concerned members of the public and, after searching the Greenhills, collected seven used and discarded needles.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Following reports from members of the public, our community warden found a small number of discarded syringes at the Greenhills. These were removed and safely disposed of.

“The Greenhills are patrolled regularly as part of the warden’s route and materials have not previously been found. Additional checks will now be carried out and Police Scotland has also been informed.

“If anyone does spot such material they are advised not to touch/remove it themselves but to contact the council’s Contact Centre 24-hour Emergency Line with as much information on the location as possible.

“We respond to any report of needles found in public areas and aim to remove them as quickly as possible.”

The issue concerned Prestonpans community councillor DJ Johnston-Smith, who said: “I will raise the matter at the next community council meeting and our representative will go along to the next CAPP meeting for further discussion with the police, community wardens and other council officials.

“It’s an issue that certainly raises serious concerns for many parents, including myself, so awareness of the potential hazard posed by such carelessly discarded drug paraphernalia is of first priority.

“Local residents need to be aware of the appropriate council departments that they should contact if they find such materials so that our hard-working community wardens can attend and make the area safe once again. But it is also important as a community to reach out to these intravenous drug-users, to see if we can signpost them towards possible sources of help to address addiction, such as the needle exchange facility that operates out of Bankton Pharmacy on Hawthorn Road.”

The 24-hour council contact number is 01875 612818 and the community warden can be reached on 01620 829917.