Northern Ireland

Children find needles in east Belfast park

Four children were taken to hospital as a precaution after they found medical needles at a play area in east Belfast.

Police seized the needles from the park on the Newtownards Road on Friday evening.

A police spokeswoman said the needles "could have caused them serious harm".

"Such items can be dangerous, especially to younger children who may not be aware of what they have found," she said.

"Police would also remind those who use needles of the risks to others they cause by discarding them so wantonly."

Ulster Unionist assembly member Michael Copeland said it was irresponsible to leave needles where they could be found by children.

He said: "What sort of mentality causes people to leave needles in an area where children or anyone else could suffer harm as a result?

"The simple fact is they're dangerous and should not be left lying around."