Drugs concern at beauty spotBy Becky Barnes
August 10, 2012
Drug paraphernalia and ‘dangerous’ rubbish found at a nature beauty spot have sparked fears it may become ‘the place to go for a drug meet’.
Dog-walkers and bird-lovers at North Lake, South Hill Park, have raised concerns about the potential danger to wildlife, pets and children after suspected drug packets were found last week and drug paraphernalia was found on Monday.
Pat Kennewell, of the Birch Hill and Hanworth Liaison Group, said she filled a bag with ‘dangerous’ rubbish, including the remains of a fire, foil, plastic bottles and discarded sharp tins, on Monday morning.
She said: “We urgently need to get on top of this problem now before it develops into the place to go for a drug meet.
“We are always being invited to volunteer to help our community, but I am finding it more and more that I feel like a nuisance so often when I bring problems to light.”
Police have confirmed they are aware of the problem and a neighbourhood officer is looking into it.
A police spokeswoman said: “If people find drug bags we would advise them not to open the bag or touch the contents and take it to their nearest police station, or call the 101 non-emergency number.”
Crowthorne chiropodist Peter Hayward said he found empty used sachets by North Lake last week and binned them for safety not knowing what they were.
He said: “I only found out later what they might have been.
“I have read about dogs becoming seriously ill because they ate stashed or discarded drugs in a park.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said ‘speed is of the essence’ should a pet become ill.
BVA Past President Harvey Locke said: “Dogs are inquisitive by nature and if a dog becomes unwell – for example if it becomes wobbly, has convulsions or sudden onset acute sickness or diarrhoea – especially after it’s been off the lead in undergrowth or wooded areas, the key thing is to seek veterinary attention as quickly as possible.”
Kath Moss, who has been managing the grounds of South Hill Park since July, said she would ‘absolutely dispute’ the park was in danger of becoming a place for a drug meet.
She said: “There is no issue – with a huge variety of people you are going to get an occasional incident.
“It is a very safe area and we want people to come and enjoy it. We are doing everything we can to maintain security and to keep it safe.
“If we did see anything we would be concerned but there is no major problem. South Hill Park is a fantastic place to be and we want to welcome people to come and enjoy it with their families.”
Russell Reeve, Bracknell Town Council clerk said: “The various agencies need to work and coordinate with Bracknell Herons fishing group to make sure the lake is a safe environment and make sure the land is not used for drug use.
“We are taking this problem very seriously.”