Disused Wigan site attracts drug addicts '˜in broad daylight'

Residents of a busy Wigan street are concerned for the safety of their youngsters after seeing a vacant plot of land slowly transform into a drug hotspot.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 9:20 am
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 5:10 pm
Empty gas canisters have been found at the vacant plot of land

Families living on Frog Lane in Springfield are calling for the council to develop unused land opposite their homes after seeing drug addicts using syringes “in the bushes” and finding discarded paraphernalia at the site.

The area, which once housed a large factory, has in more recent years been used as an open space by dog walkers and children.

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Used syringes found there

Andy Fish, dad of one, said: “I live facing the old Linde factory and have just finished a few months of watching every heroin addict in town buy heroin and inject in the bushes facing our houses.

“Kids play in there and people walk dogs.

“The place is covered with used needles, spoons, needle tubs, gas canisters and fly-tipped rubbish .

“There are dealers all around this area doing stuff in broad daylight.”

Another mum, who lives on Glebe End Road off Frog Lane, described seeing “needles and condoms everywhere” when out walking her dog.

There is currently a pending planning application to build 62 houses and 10 apartments on part of the vacant land on Frog Lane.

An accompanying Greater Manchester Police crime report has revealed that the area and land within 500m of the site is particularly susceptible to low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.

The review has presented data to show that the rate of domestic burglaries in the surrounding area is 21 per cent higher than in Wigan as a whole.

Shockingly, the rate of burglaries from vehicles is 138 per cent higher than the Wigan average, the rate of woundings is 51 per cent higher and criminal damage is 39 per cent higher.

Following a visit to the site back in August, officers noted a “significant” level of fly-tipping in the area.

The report suggests that further development would promote lower crime on and around the Frog Lane site.

GMP wrote: “The development will bring additional residential development, increasing activity and vitality in the local area. The site has been subject to fly-tipping and the development of this site will reduce opportunities for further fly-tipping particularly on the adjacent undeveloped land.

“Cul-de-sac layouts typically attract low levels of crime as offenders do not have a legitimate purpose to be passing through the site and are more likely to be detected.”