Ultra violet lit public toilets, designed to prevent drug users clearly seeing the veins in their arms to inject into, don’t work.
Last Friday I went to a blinding and dazzling public ‘comfort station’ to find it locked.
I left. I was worried that someone might need help so I returned. As I knocked on the door, the latch turned. It was a large toilet, adapted specifically for disabled use. A woman came out. I apologised, saying I was worried that someone was unwell since they had been locked for some time. And that I’d thought maybe someone had been using it for drugs, even though the lights were designed to prevent it. She laughed. She used the toilets all the time on her way from a train station to her place of work. ‘Sure they mark their arms up with felt tip before they go in, I’ve seen it myself.’ And what was worse, according to her, was that homeless people were using the toilet, which has ample floor space, to have sex. Apocryphal or not, it is an appalling indictment on our treatment of the homeless and drug users. We need action on social housing and injecting rooms now.