A mum has spoken of her horror after a supermarket baby changing facility was left strewn with used syringes.
Tracy Simmons, 37, and partner Dean Jackson were in Sainsbury’s in Talbot Road on Thursday afternoon when they needed to change 17-week-old son Thomas’ nappy.
They waited outside for 10 minutes thinking someone was inside, but after hearing no noises coming from inside and with no sign on the door to say the unit was out of bounds, they managed to use a coin to twist the lock manually.
They were greeted with both used and unused syringes, hypodermic needles, needle wipes and overflowing bins. When they confronted Sainsbury’s workers they were told staff were aware of the mess but didn’t have time to clean it – a claim disputed by Sainsbury’s.
Tracy, a children’s nursery manager from Fleetwood, said: “What if a child had got in there and not us?
“The girl we spoke to said they hadn’t had time to clean it but we saw her laughing and joking just minutes before. To be fair, when we spoke to a manager she was horrified by it. We were told there was another baby changing unit in the store but that’s not the point. There was no sign to say this one was not to be used. We managed to get in using a coin – they could have locked it properly with a key if they wanted to, but it was hardly secure.”
Dean said: “I didn’t want to go rooting through the mess to find any needles but I could clearly see several syringes used and unused as well as plenty of used and unused wipes.
“If it was a diabetic they are likely to use their own type of injection, rather than the large syringes I saw.
“They would also be more responsible and take wipes with them. It certainly looks like drug use.”
He added: “Sainsbury’s is one of the first places tourists see when they get here. It’s not a great advertisement for the town.”
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “The safety of our customers is always our priority. Our store team was aware the facility had been misused and for this reason it was locked while we waited for professional cleaners to attend and make the area safe.
“Alternative facilities were available in the store.”