By Humphrey Carter
RESIDENTS in the Palma neighbourhood of Son Fuster are up in arms after a young girl cut herself on a disgarded hypodermic needle in one of the area's municpal children's playgrounds. Local residents have been calling for better security in the area and more police for months, but tension has risen in the neighbourhood after the three-year-old girl stabbed herself on the needle last Thursday. The little girl's mother has told of how she and a friend had taken their daughters to the park and were keeping a very close eye on them, “as usual, there's always broken bottles and junk left around and never cleaned up by the council,” she said. The two girls were playing in the park's sand pit when the two mothers heard a scream. “My daughter had grabbed a handful of sand, inside was the needle.” The three-year-old was rushed to the local clinic and then to Son Llatzer hospital where she was given a thorough examination and tests. “This is not the end of it, with so many awful diseases around picked up by needles, we will not know the results of the tests for another three months,” the worried mother said yesterday. The incident has provoked outrage amongst the local community, already united in a push for greater attention from the local authorities.
Yesterday a large number of residents, in particular parents, gathered in the park in protest.
The local community wants the council to install “just the basic measures” to make sure the children are safe.
The 5.000 square metre park is one of the largest municipal parks in Palma, but like many it is not looked after, according to residents.
Should the council fail to respond, the local community is going to launch a petition to present to the Mayor, Catalina Cirer. If that fails, they have no qualms about taking their protest directly to the city hall. Residents want the park to be fenced off and even closed to the public at night so it is not used by the kinds of people likely to leave empty bottles and needles lying around. The park is also used by teenagers for their illegal street parties over the weekends. “The council may have stamped it out down on the Paseo Maritimo, but all they've done is push it out to the outskirts like here,” one angry resident said.


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