Syringe and drug paraphernalia found in town centre phone box

Rebecca Collins found the discarded drug items in Standishgate
Rebecca Collins found the discarded drug items in Standishgate

A mother says was left “ashamed and disgusted” to be from Wigan after her toddler daughter had a close brush with a drug addict’s stash.

Rebecca Collins spotted the discarded syringe, lighter and spoon in a telephone box in Wigan town centre just as her two-year-old was about to go inside.

My two-year-old was going to go inside the box, good job I’m vigilant

Rebecca Collins

She took to social media to express her disappointment that people were leaving her home town in such a condition, and revealed that her own child nearly had a close call with the dangerous materials.

Posting on Twitter, Rebecca said: “Well after what I saw today in the town centre, this woman is ashamed and disgusted to say I am from Wigan.”

She added: “My two-year-old was going to go inside the box, good job I’m vigilant.”

The drugs paraphernalia was found on the shelf of a call box in Standishgate, near to Specsavers and CEX on Wednesday afternoon.

Wigan Council later responded to Rebecca to confirm that they had removed all of the items, and thanked her for alerting them to the issue.

In a similar incident in January, syringes were found discarded by the side of the road in Chapel Street, Leigh.

At that time, the council slammed drug use in public, saying: “This kind of behaviour of leaving syringes around in public is reprehensible and we are taking action to remove them.

“There are a number of needle exchanges where needles can be used and disposed of safely, not only helping to reduce the risk of catching diseases like HIV and hepatitis for the user, but also reducing the risk to the wider public, should they find needles too.”

Used needles have also been stumbled across by youngsters playing in undergrowth on fields off City Road in Kitt Green, and a major clean-up operation was launched in Scholes last year after hundreds of discarded hypodermics were found on wasteland there.

Just months later the drug littering had become almost as bad as it was before and shrubbery was removed in order to eliminate the users’ cover.

The council encouraged people to report any instances of spotting used needles, which can be done online through MyAccount or the Report It app.

Residents can also seek help with alcohol and drug problems from the Wigan and Leigh Recovery Partnership on 01942 487578.

Anyone under 18 can contact the Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service on 01942 865591.