Discarded needles pose real danger to children

Wigan central ward councillor George Davies, with an anti social behaviour sign, which is on display in Lower Longshoot, Wigan - residents have complained after finding needles around the area

Wigan central ward councillor George Davies, with an anti social behaviour sign, which is on display in Lower Longshoot, Wigan - residents have complained after finding needles around the area

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A WIGAN housing estate has become a favoured haunt of drug addicts who are putting children’s lives in danger by carelessly dumping used needles in a popular wood.

Over the last few months, more than 20 dirty syringes have been found in the small wooded area next to the Earl of Balcarres pub at Scholes and a public footpath leading to the Lower Longshoot estate.

The area has a long and unwanted history as a popular spot for dumping used needles but the recent escalation has alarmed police and council officials.

Now they are warning there will be zero tolerance approach to drug users who leave used needles in public, while Coun George Davies has worked with the council’s Beat It teams to regularly clean up the site,

But after a resident spotted the offending items stuck in mud, Coun George Davies organised to get a sign installed to state that Greater Manchester Police and Wigan Council were monitoring the area and that anti-social behaviour would not be tolerated.

Coun Davies said: “My main concern is for the safety of residents and especially children and domestic animals who use this shortcut, so I contacted the council’s neighbourhood officers and straight away a clean-up of the needles was done.

“I am also delighted that an anti-social behaviour sign has been erected on site which says that the area is being monitored by Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police.

“Anti-social behaviour is anything that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress.

“I would like to thank the council’s neighbourhood team, the safer environment team for their quick response and the residents who brought the report to my attention.”

Jo Makin, safer environment manager at Wigan Council, said: “A sign from a different location within the borough was moved to this area in Scholes in an attempt to discourage people from congregating there following reports of drug taking.

“This is only a temporary measure and one of a number of activities we are doing to tackle the problem, which includes cutting back the overgrown weeds and bushes so the land is more open and working with the police who have increased patrols of the area.”

Insp Glenn Jones of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “Officers are running frequent patrols across the borough as part of the Safe4Summer campaign, and anyone found to be acting antisocially will be dealt with.

“We take all incidents of antisocial behaviour

seriously, and people can always report incidents by calling police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”