THE BLUE lights in Edinburgh Sheriff Courts toilets are no deterrent for heroin users as they pre-mark their arms before entering the building.
Users have been marking their arms with pens before entering the building in an attempt to still be able to inject drugs according to staff in the building.
The blue lighting system paints an eerie glow in the toilet facilities and hides the blue hue of veins under the skin and makes any type of white powder difficult to see.
The blue fluorescent lights were installed in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in September 2003 as a deterrent to drug use that was going on within the court building.
An insider at Edinburgh’s Sheriff Court said: “The blue lights are there so they can’t see their veins to inject. It also means you can’t see white powders when they’re put down on any surface.
“But what they’ve started doing is, before they get to court and just outside it they mark their arms with pen so that they can see where the vein is when they go in the toilets.”
A spokesman from the Scottish Court Service said: “The blue lights are so that people can’t see their veins.
“I’ve heard that the lights have been used in a number of supermarkets for the same purpose.
“Where do we stop with security? We wouldn’t ask people to roll their sleeves up coming through security. It could be anyone who is doing it.”
Security guards at Edinburgh Sheriff Court also use small yellow pokers to rifle through bags at the metal detector gate so they do not come into contact with spiked implements or needles as they search those entering the building.
The same type of blue lights have been used by other courts and commercial premises to deter people injecting drugs in public toilets.
In 2003 in Huntington, Cambridgeshire, local shops including Sainsbury’s and Woolworths installed the lights after a spate of incidents involving drug users “shooting up” in retailers’ toilets.