SAFER communities officers at the local authority have recorded a hike in the number of discarded needles in the Borders.

Over the past three available years the number of reported syringes found in local streets and parks has surged from 28 during 2016/17 to 73 in 2018/19.

The figures which have been released by Scottish Borders Council show that eight of the 73 needles were found in public toilets.

Although the risk from contracting a disease from a syringe is low, it is possible to contract an infection with HIV or hepatitis if the skin is broken.

Anyone who finds a discarded syringe is asked not to touch it and to contact Scottish Borders Council, who will provide an uplift service.

A spokesman told us: “Whilst the majority of people who access injecting equipment dispose of this safely, any reports of discarded needles in our community is a concern.

“The Scottish Borders Safer Communities team has a policy in place to ensure the safe and efficient removal of discarded sharps found in the community.”

To report a discarded syringe call Call 0300 100 1800 during office hours, or if outwith office hours, call Police Scotland on 101.