Council bosses are urging people to stay vigilant after a number of discarded hypodermic needles have been found in a popular park in South Shields.
A syringe was discovered on Tuesday in bushes in North Marine Park - near to the Haven Point leisure complex.
It is understood the discarded needle was found by a young child who was playing there and was reported to the council.
The find follows reports that it is the latest in a number of syringes have been found in the area in recent weeks,.
Council leaders say they are concerned that reckless people are leaving the needles in the park - especially during the school holidays.
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “We would urge people to be extra vigilant. If anyone finds a needle, do not touch it.
“Report it to the council as soon as possible so that they can be disposed of immediately and safely.”
She added: “We take great pride in keeping our parks and open spaces clean and tidy and would always encourage people to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“On this occasion a member of the public alerted us to a needle they had found in North Marine Park.
“We are concerned that people are leaving hazardous materials such as this discarded in public places enjoyed by children and families, particularly at this busy time of year. This is hugely irresponsible and dangerous not only to park visitors but to our cleansing staff.”
North Marine Park is one of the borough’s oldest green spaces and is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council was successful in its bid for £2.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the historic park to its original Victorian character.
Key elements of the project include creating better links between the park and Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall and improving the area around the park’s highest point, Lawe Top.
A themed play area will reflect the borough’s maritime links and Roman heritage alongside planned restoration works on the park’s original grotto and grand promenade staircase and improvements to lighting, seating, footpaths and the bowling area.
Work is expected to start later this year.