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  • Boston 25 News WFXT

    Discarded needles at Boston park raise safety concerns ahead of summer

    By Drew Karedes,


    Littered needles found scattered across a Boston playground are bringing attention to safety concerns heading into the warmer months.

    The syringes and other belongings found at Newland Street Park in Boston’s South End were reported to 311 and cleaned up quickly.

    The neighbor who captured the photos told Boston 25 News that he’s concerned for other kids who use playgrounds across the area.

    Boston 25 News noticed what appeared to be an uptick in recent 311 complaints about needles found in and around city parks.

    “Usually our kids are running in front of us toward the playgrounds, and we don’t try to get ahead of them because we’re not worried about anything dangerous,” said South End resident Heather Govern. “It’s a little worrying.”

    Some neighbors in the South End and Roxbury said they’re worried that the drug use has become more dispersed following last year’s crowd clearing on Atkinson Street.

    “There’s been an uptick in them in my opinion,” said Roxbury resident Marla Smith. “With school getting out, there won’t be teachers overseeing the kids as much, and there won’t be custodians doing a cleanup in the park.”

    A Boston Public Health Commission spokesperson sent the following statement to Boston 25 News:

    “We respond to 311 calls and requests 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm, perform proactive clean ups in certain areas, and continuously monitor efforts to target areas of need. We focus on areas children frequent, such as schools and parks and have a 99.9% on-time response to 311 needle clean up requests, which take 0.1 days on average to resolve.”

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