Tips on staying safe in winter in Peterborough

The bins were installed in September
The bins were installed in September

B ack in September, the council helped to install special drugs needle disposal boxes in locations across Peterborough, writes Rob Hill, Assistant Director: Public Protection (Peterborough and Cambridgeshire).

This was part of an initiative involving a number of organisations, including drugs support group Aspire, Cambridgeshire Police and local campaigners ‘Needless Needles’ who formed a special task group to tackle the problem of discarded needles and drugs paraphernalia.

Last year, the group was successful in bidding to the Office of the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner for 10 boxes, which are designed to encourage people to safely dispose of needles, syringes and other drugs equipment.

The boxes were installed in September 2019 and two months on, a total of 107 needles and paraphernalia have been installed in the boxes, which are emptied once a week.

The boxes, which are marked with stickers stating ‘Sharps Disposal’, have been installed in the following locations based on past data for needle find areas in the city.

l Bourges Boulevard underpass.

l Stanley Recreation Ground.

l Broadway Cemetery (x2).

l North Bank Road / Carr Road underpass.

l ASDA south bank.

l Wharf Road cycle path.

l Dickens Street cycle path.

l Morris Street cycle path.

l Kesteven Walk (still to be installed).

So, this a great start, but we’re keen to remind people that the boxes are out there, and for members of the public to continue to report any finds to us.

As we’ve said previously, tackling discarded drugs paraphernalia will not happen overnight. It’s a complex problem, and certainly not something that is unique to Peterborough.

But, as a council, we want to do everything within our power to help crackdown on it - we want to develop clean and safe communities, so this is a key project for us.

While residents are encouraged to report any needle finds to the council, people should never attempt to pick up any drugs paraphernalia that they find.

Anyone who finds discarded drugs equipment in Peterborough can report it by calling 01733 747474, or www.peterborough.gov.uk

With winter practically upon us we’re continuing to remind pedestrians, cyclists and riders to be safe and be seen.

With the arrival of shorter days and darker nights, statistics reveal that this time of year leads to a rise in road casualties, particularly for the most vulnerable groups such as children, cyclists, motorcyclists and the elderly.

Evidence indicates that there is a rise in the number of collisions at this time of year, both in the mornings and afternoons, as road users adapt to a combination of changing factors such as poorer weather conditions, and pedestrians not wearing reflective or bright clothing.

We would encourage all parents or guardians with schoolchildren to make sure their child can be clearly seen by wearing something ‘hi-vis’. Cyclists should also remember it is an offence to cycle at night without a front light, a rear light and a red rear reflector.

It’s also that time of year when thoughts start turning towards the festive season and the annual joy that is Christmas shopping!

Each Christmas, police forces up and down the country will issue seasonal crime prevention messages about the risks associated with shopping in very busy places.

They do this because city high streets are rammed, and the opportunities for pickpocketing and snatch theft are at their highest.

So here’s a few simple tips ahead of your big shopping trips.

l When using debit and credit cards, be sure to keep them very handy so you’re not having to search through an open handbag or wallet trying to find them.

l Keep a record of the card numbers and emergency telephone numbers in your bag or deep pocket, so you can call the companies to cancel the cards quickly should you lose them.

l When entering your PIN always cover the keypad with your other hand and be aware of who’s around you.

l Think about making expensive purchases last so you can head straight home with them. Some stores might hold onto them so you can pick them up later.

l Think about taking your own large shopping bags so you can consolidate all the little bags together and reduce the risk of dropping one or having one stolen.