Parents in Bodicote have called in the police after used hypodermic needles have been found in various places around the village.
The residents are most concerned about syringes left on the green on Town Furlong, where numerous children play football and other games, often barefoot or in soft shoes or sandals.
Parish councillor Zzazz Foreman contacted police after one of several concerned mums sounded the alert.
“I saw pictures of the needles found on Town Furlong posted on social media. We’ve had others found in an alley next to the Plough pub by walkers.
“One lady found a syringe and told the bin men who were in the area and they disposed of it. I called the police and have been told the neighbourhood policing team will be increasing their patrols in this area,” she said.
One mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said her ten-year-old daughter had spotted two syringes on the grass and told her.
“I thought she meant sewing needles at first and I was shocked when I realised it was syringes. Children are very astute these days.
“I picked them up and put them in the bin. I was told it was not wise to have done that but I couldn’t leave them there as lots of children play on the green and often without shoes or socks.
“On the weekend these needles were found it was warm day with lots of people around outside, and some children were only wearing sandals.
“It looked as though someone had thrown them out of the window of a car. One was on the edge of the road and another on the grass,” she said.
Cherwell District Council press spokesman Tony Ecclestone said anyone finding needles should call the council’s regular number, 01295 227001, where arrangements could be made for environmental officers to organise safe collection and disposal of the syringes.
Posters on the What’s On Bodicote Facebook page reported finding hypodermic syringes and ‘laughing’ gas cylinders and witnessing drug deals going on in parked cars.
One man said: “I found one a couple of Sundays ago down the passage way between Chaple Lane and The Plough. Same type of needle by the look of your picture. I popped it in an empty beer can and binned it. I’ve also come across some of those laughing gas canisters in the past.”
Another villager said: “It’s an ongoing problem in Town Furlong. I have a bagful of the gas canisters.
“I have also witnessed a drug deal between (people in) cars. The police are aware.”
Government information on discarded drug paraphernalia says the health risks to the public from drug litter are often thought to be small. There are still no recorded incidents of a member of the public contracting a blood-borne disease from a discarded needle or syringe. However, discarded needles can be infected with active Hepatitis B or C Virus at rates of up to 10 per cent, indicating a risk that, while low, is still present. The risk will be higher for cleaners or those coming into contact with discarded needles.