Addicts ‘taking drugs in public’

Insp Richard Close of the Wakefield Central neighbourhood police team.
Insp Richard Close of the Wakefield Central neighbourhood police team.

Drug addicts have been “shooting up” in the public toilets at Wakefield Market.

Shoppers and traders at the Union Street market have made several complaints about drug users and anti-social behaviour to the Central Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT).

And now the NPT has stepped up patrols at the market and is holding a new community surgery where people can raise concerns with officers.

Insp Richard Close said: “Following on from complaints about anti-social behaviour, rough sleeping and suspected substance abuse, I am pleased to support the markets reducing unacceptable behaviour.

“The indoor market should be a safe haven for shoppers escaping the cold, not for people who have no interest in shopping or the community.

“Patrols will increase in partnership with the local authority, we will be there conducting surgeries for shoppers to see and speak with us about any issues causing concern. It’s never been a safer time to shop in Wakefield, crime and anti-social behaviour continues to fall making the experience much more pleasant.”

Stall holders have welcomed the increased patrols and hope it will encourage more shoppers to visit the market.

Trader Richard Bramley said: “It’s not nice when people come into the market and use drugs. I’m sure it does put people off coming in.”

The next police surgery will take place on Tuesday, March 26, between 10.30am and 11.30am.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for Culture, said: “We are pleased to be able to work with the community policing team and offer them this opportunity to engage with visitors to the market. Their presence will be reassuring for our traders, as well as shoppers at the market.”

l To contact the NPT call 101 or e-mail