Take Back Santa Cruz

Needles in Public Spaces Report, March 2016

To: Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Cruz City Council

Please find the Take Back Santa Cruz Needles Solutions Team Needles in Public Spaces (NIPS) report attached. This is a log of citizen reports of needles found in public spaces for the last 39 months.

The log was created as a reference so that someone can use the data to:

Total NIPS Finds for Reporting Period 39 For reporting period 39 (2/9/2016-3/8/16),
222 needles found in public spaces were logged. This count includes citizen reports, community group reports and reports by City workers. 102 needles were found by citizens and community groups; the other 120 needles were found by City workers.

Significant Finds For Reporting Period

A child found and picked up a needle at a birthday party at Cowell Beach. (1126N)

A six-year-old picked up a needle in the plants at a coffee shop. (1129N)

Needles were found by several people at Seabright Beach the day after a big storm. (1141N, 1142N, 1143N)

A 12-year-old found a needle while doing yardwork in front of his home. (1133N)

A woman found a needle on Cowell Beach where her boys were playing. (1152N)

Hot Spot NIPS Locations for Reporting Periods 38:

San Lorenzo River/Levee San Lorenzo Park
Seabright Beach
Cowell Beach
Main Beach
1100 block of Ocean Street
Neary Lagoon
Cliff Street Walkway

NIPS Finds In The Past Year:

2/9/16-3/8/16: 222
1/9/16-2/8/16: 291
12/9/15-1/8/16: 242
11/9/15-12/8/15: 217
10/9/15—11/8/15: 297
9/9/15-10/8/15: 231
8/9/15-9/8/15: 223
7/9/15-8/8/15: 238
6/9/15-7/8/15: 221
5/9/15-6/8/15: 145
4/9/15-5/8/15: 204
3/9/15-4/8/15: 210
2/9/2015-3/8/15: 340 (Note: Quantity increased by a conservative estimate of 200 after the Needles Team obtained additional information concerning City needle finds through Public Records Act Request.)
1/9/15 – 2/8/15: 187
12/9/14-1/8/15: 170
11/9/14-12/8/14: 156

Overview of Last 39 Months

· Total Number of Needles Reported Found: 10,207

· Average Number of Needles Found Per Month: 261

· Source of needles: Again, based on the frequent presence of other items from the SSP such as water capsules, cookers, and alcohol wipes, we conclude that a significant number of needles found in public spaces likely originated from the SSP (and obviously were not returned for exchange.) However, there are other needles being found that do not match those given out by the SSP, so there are presumably other sources of discarded needles. ·

Needle Sticks: We have confirmed 8 cases of people being stuck by needles (including 4 children).

Media Coverage of Needles in Public Space


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