Cannabis use sparks fury

Drug paraphernalia left on Danes Avenue in Hindley
Drug paraphernalia left on Danes Avenue in Hindley

Residents are demanding action after claiming that an area near a children’s park has been taken over by young people using cannabis.

Groups of up to 20 youths, some possibly as young as 14, have been seen taking the illegal substance opposite the play equipment on Danes Avenue in Hindley, it has been claimed.

Frustrated neighbours have now taken pictures of the drug bags left behind in a bid to highlight the issue in the hope the authorities will be able to take action.

Residents say young people have been congregating there to smoke the drug since the beginning of the year and are causing a nuisance for people living nearby.

One resident, who asked not to be identified, said: “This year we’ve noticed there are gangs coming down smoking dope in this area.

“I would say they are between 14 and 18 years old. One night last week about eight of them were walking down from the benches where they congregate passing a joint between them.

“You can smell it at the benches and in other places around the park and I don’t want this on my doorstep.

“Word seems to have got round that you can come down here to smoke dope and it’s safe.”

“To be honest they come across as decent kids, they seem quite respectful. A few years ago youths would come and drink alcohol in the park and that was worse.

“However, it is illegal to take cannabis and there are a lot of older people round here and as they are walking past they say it is disgraceful. I want something doing about it.”

Residents say they are particularly concerned that the council has just spent money on new play equipment for Danes Avenue and children will be deterred from using the swings, slides and climbing frame if the area is a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

Wigan Council said it is working with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on the problems of drug use in the area.

A town hall spokesman said: “We have received reports regarding issues in the area and are working closely in partnership with GMP to combat the situation.”

Incidents of drug taking should be reported to the police using the non-emergency number 101.