Monday, October 19, 2015

Man claims he had pose as drug addict to get needle bin so he could clear up his street

A furious dad says he had to pose as a drug addict in order to get something done about a needle left outside his Dorset home. Paul Morgan says his Bournemouth street has been "taken over" by addicts. And when the council failed to collect a needle from outside his gate he said he resorted to posing as a drug user himself to access a needle exchange and take home a sharps disposal kit. Mr Morgan, who lives in Southcote Road, stormed out of a Springbourne Residents' Association meeting after telling residents about the episode. The family's garden backs directly onto Knyveton Gardens, with a gate connecting the two.

He said that despite progress made to deter prostitution in the public gardens, drug dealing was commonplace, and he has discovered needles, other drug parapahalia and condom wrappers just outside his gate. He fears that the area is becoming a "social dumping ground", and warned: "Addicts have taken over in Knyveton Gardens." Mr Morgan wrote to the council in July to say he couldn't allow his young son out into the gardens and asked for the bushes around the site to be cleared. Another letter six weeks later failed to prompt any action, he said. Mr Morgan, who has caught addicts in the act of injecting themselves with heroin, told councillors at the meeting he had reported finding a needle outside of his back gate three weeks before.

He said: "I found the syringe and I reported that to the council and told them where it was. They said, 'Yes, we'll go pick it up', and I said I'd send them a map so they'd know exactly where it is." However, the needle was never collected, so Paul eventually posed as an addict to get a sharps box. He produced the needle at the meeting, saying: "I had to pick it up and deal with it myself." Paul then walked out of the meeting, telling officials: "I am not going to take any further part in proceedings until this issue is resolved." Mr Morgan said he has even pinned up posters warning of syringes on the ground. "It's a direct health threat but the people who should be doing something about it at the council haven't done anything at all," he said.

"I suspect that this whole area is being deliberately ignored and is now considered to be a social wasteland." At the meeting, Councillor David Kelsey said the bushes around the site cannot be further trimmed as the parks department "point blank refuse to cut back any further". Kelly Ansell, senior strategic housing manager for Bournemouth council, said: “We are aware of the concerns raised regarding Knyveton Gardens. the parks team have attended the site regularly throughout the summer to undertake necessary works. We are now about to enter the pruning season and this site will be prioritised over the next fortnight. The issues raised at the meeting were wide ranging and as a result a multi agency meeting is being arranged in order to respond with robust action where required.”

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