Terror as children are stabbed with needles in Letchworth

Iron Bridge in Highover Road, Letchworth

Iron Bridge in Highover Road, Letchworth - Credit: Archant

A MOTHER-of-four took two of her children to hospital after they were pricked with used needles while playing out in the open.

Abigail Mortby was terrified when her nine-year-old daughter and five-year-old son got pricked with needles while playing with a group of children on Monday afternoon near the Iron Bridge in Letchworth GC.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Highover Road, 100 yards from the bridge, said: “My daughter said she had found some doctor’s stuff on the ground and one of the other children had pricked her with it. I naturally panicked and was absolutely terrified.

“I called the police and was then advised by my doctor to take them straight to A&E. They both had to have a blood test and were given hepatitis jabs. They will have to have another two more sets of jabs over the next six weeks.”

Ms Mortby said she was disgusted people could be so irresponsible and leave needles lying around.

“My children will not be going back there to play, they will now have to play in the back garden where I can see them and know they are safe, which is really difficult, especially in the summer holidays,” she said. “They like going to the bridge and seeing the trains but they won’t be doing that now.”

A spokesman for Herts Police confirmed police were called to the scene at 2.21pm on Monday afternoon.

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Ms Mortby said that altogether she has seen 16 used needles in the area that her children and their friends were playing in.

Cllr Tony Hunter, North Herts District Council’s portfolio holder for community engagement, said: “Our community safety team were made aware this week of issues in the area, specifically regarding drug use and discarded needles, and have taken immediate action to try and tackle the problem.

“The public area has been cleaned as a matter of priority and we have contacted the police to pass on the information we received. We have also spoken to Network Rail, owners of the adjacent land that appears to be where drugs are being used, and requested they cut back the undergrowth to make it less desirable for people engaging in anti-social behaviour.

“Council officers and our contractors will actively monitor the site so any ongoing issues can be reported to us immediately.

“We are also grateful to residents who report anti-social behaviour to us and we would encourage anyone to contact us if they find discarded needles or other dangerous materials so they can be disposed of safely.

“As this incident highlights, the thoughtless acts of a small minority can cause a great deal of distress and harm to others.”