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Island Health seeks solutions to discarded needles after three people pricked

Last Updated Jan 17, 2018 at 3:40 pm EST

A needle sits on the ground in this undated handout image provided by the Victoria Police Department. Island Health is taking steps to keep residents safe after a third incident involving a Victoria resident pricked by a needle. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Victoria Police Department *MANDATORY CREDIT*

VICTORIA – Island Health is taking steps to keep residents safe after a third incident involving a Victoria resident being pricked by a needle.

The health authority is calling on its service providers to find ways to reduce the number of needles or other sharp objects that may be improperly discarded, posing a threat to the public.

The discussion comes after a worker at a downtown Victoria salon was pricked while tending a planter box in front of the business.

The woman says the syringe was planted in the soil, needle up, and Victoria police say she reported that it’s the second time she has found a needle in nearby planters, although she avoided being injured the first time.

Police issued separate news releases last week after a toddler was pricked by a needle at a fast food restaurant and a dog walker was jabbed while trying to prevent her dog from grabbing a paper bag next to a garbage bin.

Police say the bag was filled with discarded needles, although investigators don’t believe the bag was left maliciously.

The three incidents, which occurred just days apart, have raised the concern of Island Health.

“We recognize finding a discarded needle can be unsettling and we want to work together to see what can be done to ensure public spaces remain safe for everyone,” the health authority says in a statement.

Police say none of the victims were seriously hurt. (CFAX)