A DISGUSTED mother has told how she nearly trod on a syringe while in a shopping centre toilet.

Jeda-Louise Blissett was in the toilets at Brighton’s Churchill Square with her two young children and a friend when she came across the drug needles.

The 24-year-old nearly trod on one and said there was other drug paraphernalia scattered around the disabled toilet.

She said: “There were two needles to the left and on the other side a few more. I nearly stepped on one. There were also some spoons for cooking the drugs in the bin. It was awful.

“I think it’s absolutely disgusting. I know people have their problems, but don’t do these things where it could put children in danger.

“Children don’t know what the needles are and could easily pick them up and you don’t know what they could contract. They could catch HIV or anything.

“I’m so glad my kids didn’t come in with me.

“You see a lot of 13 and 14-year-olds shopping on their own in Churchill Square. They wouldn’t even know what the needles are. It’s dangerous.”

Miss Blissett, of Westbourne Street in Hove, found the needles last Monday afternoon while her children waited outside with her friend, Chelsea Claridge-Walder, who also had children with her.

She said she was shocked to find the paraphernalia in Brighton’s main shopping centre. However, she said she did not blame centre staff.

She said: “It’s not the fault of the staff.

“They can’t control who comes in and out of the toilet.”

It is the latest discovery of needles and other drug paraphernalia in Brighton in recent weeks.

It has reignited the debate on introducing “shooting galleries” – where users can take drugs in a safe environment, free from fear of arrest.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas is among those who has called for a discussion on the issue.

Miss Claridge-Walder, 19, also from Hove, said: “I just couldn’t believe it.

“You don’t think it would happen in such a busy place with a lot of people there.

“I think Brighton definitely needs a shooting gallery. It’s the best solution.

“Obviously you’ll never stop people doing drugs but at least then they might not be doing it in public as much.”

On Sunday, Brighton and Hove Police tweeted: “Taking drugs is bad enough but leaving the mess behind for local businesses to clear up is just selfish and dangerous – it won’t be tolerated.”

A spokesman for Churchill Square said bosses were aware of the incident and had launched an investigation.

He added: “We’d also like to reassure customers we regularly check our facilities to ensure they meet the highest standards.”


DRUG use in Brighton and Hove has been rife for years.

Just last week we reported how workers were greeted by blood-soaked tissues, dirty needles and cooking spoons on the doorstep of a business in the Old Steine.

One worker said: “Someone had set up a ‘den’ so a few people could partake in such activities.

“We had to get a cleaner round to clear up all the drug paraphernalia including used needles, bloody tissues, blood stains, heroin cooking spoons and human faeces. Clearly this is beyond the reasonable duties of an office cleaner from a health and safety perspective.”

From 2004, Brighton and Hove had the highest number of drug deaths in the country, giving it the unwanted status of the drugs death capital.

The city lost the title in August, but the issue of drug use remain.

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called for a debate on the use of shooting galleries.

She has previously spoken of the proposal and revived her argument last month.

Many countries including Australia and Germany have shooting galleries in their cities.

Ms Lucas told The Argus in October: “I believe our city should revisit the idea of drug consumption rooms – safe and supervised places where addicts can inject or inhale illicit substances without fear of prosecution and with a much reduced impact on the community too.

“We urgently need better ways to reach out and save lives.”