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Sharp warning to parents

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Parents are being urged to come forward if their child is among a group of Richmondshire youths who put themselves and hospital staff in potential danger after an act of 'wilful vandalism'.

Reports of anti-social behaviour in Friary Gardens in Richmond last week uncovered an incident at the Friary Hospital  – a group of round ten 14 and 15 year olds had scaled a gate at the back of the hospital and emptied the contents of the hospital’s  ‘Sharps’ bins around the area.

When police arrived, the group made off in different directions – but took the Sharps bins with them.  Members of the local police and nurses from the hospital had to retrieve the needles that had been scattered to make the area safe again for local residents.

Now Safer Richmondshire is highlighting the danger the youths had put themselves in and asking parents if their child is part of the group.

Richmond Police Beat Manager PC Sue Dent said: “Our primary concern is the potential danger that these youths unwittingly put themselves in through this wilful vandalism – the contents of the Sharps bins pose a very real risk of contamination and infection.

“The group would have been exposed to the needles and could possibly have been pricked by one – or while messing about they could very easily have hurt one another with them.

“It isn’t only the issue of the needles, but also the anti-social behaviour and trespassing on private property that we have to consider.  The group were abusive, loud and swearing at the nurses who have a difficult job to do at the hospital – a group that size would have also caused a nuisance for local residents.  Further anti-social behaviour was also reported over the weekend.”

She said Safer Richmondshire has recently undertaken work in the Friary Gardens area to reduce anti-social behaviour, including the installation of CCTV, increased police patrols, new signage and tree trimming work to increase visibility – it aims to continue to take steps with other organisations to further reduce the issues.

“As the nights are getting lighter and warmer, I would urge parents to think – do I know where my children are and what they are doing?” added PC Dent.

“And if a yellow Sharps bin box has appeared in a bedroom, a garden or a shed find out where it came from and why. Come and talk to us if you need to – we want to help educate our young people about these dangers and the effects their behaviour is having on the town.”


Last modified: May 9, 2018