Published: 12:17, 11 July 2018
| Updated: 12:31, 11 July 2018
A mother has been left horrified after her daughters came into contact with a used needle at a popular beach.
Becky Tupper, 35, was enjoying a family day-out on Sunday at Palm Bay, Margate, when her youngest daughter, Tegan, nine, almost stood on the syringe.
Thinking she was helping, 11-year-old Paige then picked it up to move it away before Mrs Tupper's eldest, 17-year-old Harmony, told her to put it down.
Such paraphernalia is often used to inject heroin.
"I am absolutely disgusted," Mrs Tupper said.
"We were just setting up on the beach when I heard my eldest daughter say 'put it down'.
"Paige had picked up the needed to move it away from my youngest. I had to explain to my daughter why she couldn't pick up the needle as she thought she was just moving something.
"I took her down to the sea to wash her hands and gave her an anti-bacterial wipe."
Mrs Tupper, of Palm Bay, says she won't be returning to the beach with her family.
"It made me feel sick." she added. "I took a photo of it to post on Facebook to warn other people.
"My husband ended up picking it up using a bag and putting it in a normal bin, which is safer than the beach. We were going to let the council know so they could dispose of it properly but fortunately the bin men came and took it away."
Thanet District Council has branded the action of leaving hazardous waste on the beach as "absolutely unforgivable".
A spokesman said: "Our beaches, six of which have blue flags, are cleaned on a daily basis to remove a wide range of rubbish left by beach visitors.
"This varies from full sand raking with specialist beach tractors at our main larger beaches, to bins being emptied and promenades being litter picked by our cleansing teams at the smaller bays.
"It is totally unacceptable that anyone leaves litter at the beach but leaving hazardous waste such as used needles is absolutely unforgivable.
"If anyone finds any harmful items on our beaches we ask that they do not touch them but report it immediately either to the bay inspector located at the beach, or to a beach cleaner, alternatively they can call us on 01843 577000 so we can arrange for the item to be safely removed by our trained staff.
"This will be dealt with as a matter of urgency."
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