Dirty needles haul plagues Wigan park

Three containers were filled with needles at Mesnes Park during a community clean-up campaign
Three containers were filled with needles at Mesnes Park during a community clean-up campaign

Dozens of dirty syringes were collected by volunteers during a community clean-up at Mesnes Park.

Three boxes were filled with discarded needles when the Friends of Mesnes Park teamed up with police and other volunteers to tidy up the historic venue.

Other news: Thirty bins stolen, lost or damaged beyond repair EVERY DAY in Wigan

Council bosses say daily safety checks are being undertaken in the park, which has been given a new lease of life in recent years with a £6.1m Heritage Lottery Fund-backed makeover.

But environment staff are asking Wiganers to be vigilant and report any fresh finds to the authority.

Officers from Wigan West Police highlighted the issue on their Facebook page this week and the discovery was condemned by townsfolk.

Kat Armitage, assistant director of environment at Wigan Council, said: “We are aware of the sharps found by volunteers and the police in Mesnes Park and we are working closely with our drug and alcohol team and cleansing team to ensure any further needles are safely disposed of.

“Daily safety checks are conducted in the park and although we have seen improvement over the last couple of weeks, the area will continue to be monitored following these reports.

“There are a number of needle exchanges across Wigan borough where needles can be used and disposed of safely, which reduces the risk of diseases for both the user and wider public. We also work closely with 26 local pharmacies who offer the service free of charge.

“Anybody who finds needles in the borough or has any concerns should report via the ReportIT app.”

While Wiganers have been full of praise for the friends and volunteers, a number have been critical of how thoughtless some have been in our public open spaces.

Paul Williams said: “Great work. But these disgusting creatures shouldn’t be leaving their needles in public.”

Marie Wallace added: “It’s time the bushes on Bridgeman Terrace side were taken out to make the park more open and the culprits would have nowhere to hide.”

Louise Moores also said: “Well done to all the volunteers giving up their free time and energy to make our communal areas safer and tidier.”

Drug users wanting to access treatment should contact Addaction on 01942 487578.