Drug concerns at city park

Residents complaining about drug users leaving needles etc near play area at Bourges Boulevard. Pictured are  Haji Nawaz Khan, Akbar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed and Intkhab Ahmed EMN-150404-174056009
Residents complaining about drug users leaving needles etc near play area at Bourges Boulevard. Pictured are Haji Nawaz Khan, Akbar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed and Intkhab Ahmed EMN-150404-174056009

A city shopkeeper has spoken of his fear children could be injured by dozens of used drug needles left in bushes near a park.

Iftikhar Ahmed (44), who runs the Najib shop on Bourges Boulevard, said drug users were dumping their needles in the shrubs near the Gladstone Street playground by his shop.

He said: “I am concerned about the children’s health and safety.

“Lots of children play in the park all the time. It is really busy, especially during the school holidays.

“The children are quite young, so might not know not to touch the needles when they are left on the floor.

“The park is still very new, so children do like to come and use it.

“The bushes are right by the play park, and it is dangerous for the children.

“Drug addicts are always going into the bushes and leaving their needles there.

“I see it all the time - police are moving some people on, but the needles stay there.

“Young children might see the needles and pick them up, or if a ball is kicked into the bushes they might get pricked by the needles as they go in to get it back.

“I have lived in Bourges Boulevard all my life, and the area is really going down hill at the moment. It is getting worse every day, and this drugs problem is a real issue here.

“It is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

“The needles do get cleared away, but it is not long before more are left there.

“There really needs to be something put in place to stop the needles being dropped there in the first place, so there does not have to be a clean up operation.”

A spokeswoman for Amey, who look after street cleaning in Peterborough, said staff were working to tackle the problem.

She said: “We have cleared up hundreds of needles from this spot over the past four weeks.

“The area is part of our regular clear up rota, and it does get checked every day, because there have been so many reports.

“When we receive reports of problems like this, we do go and clear the mess up.

“We would urge people to report problems as soon as they are spotted so it can be cleared quickly.”

Anyone wishing to report rubbish that needs clearing should call 01733 747474, or visit www.peterborough.gov.uk