Used needles washed up on the Ribble estuary shore

Fylde Council senior environmental health officer Phil Dent examining the needles and boxes
Image caption Some of the syringes were loose in the box

Hypodermic needles found washed up on the shore of Lancashire's Ribble Estuary could pose a "serious risk" to the public, says Fylde Borough Council.

An investigation has begun after local fishermen found up to 50 containers of used needles, some loose in the box.

A council spokesman said: "We are trying to track down those responsible as a matter of urgency."

Fylde Council's Tommy Threlfall said it was "totally unacceptable".

Mr Threlfall, cabinet member for the environment and a local fisherman, has found 10 containers himself.

"We work very hard to keep these waters clean and it will not be tolerated," he said.

A spokesman at the council said: "Some of the syringes found aren't secure in the container so the needles are exposed, so they could pose a danger to the public particularly children.

"Animals such as dogs are also at risk too."

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