Drug users drop ‘needles like darts’ from the roof of Wakefield cafe

Sandra Conway and Bethany Simpson.
Sandra Conway and Bethany Simpson.

A business owner who says her staff have been subjected to “needles dropped like darts from the roof” is calling for more investment in a “forgotten” corner of the city centre.

Sarah Padden has run Cafe 19, on The Springs, for eight years, but says that businesses at her end of the city are often forgotten.

She said: “ It’s not just me it’s other businesses down here as well, I feel like I’m speaking a bit for everybody else. The past 18 months we’ve had so many problems.

“The needles were the pinnacle of it all. She went to take the rubbish out and they were taking drugs on the roof.

“They were dropping the needles like darts down. The police said they’d contacted the council to clear them up but when I got there the next lunch time, they were still there.

“They said I’d have to sort it out myself. Wakefield Council have just brought me some leaflets about drug paraphernalia.

“Wakefield’s a big city, it’s not just the Bullring and Wood Street.

“They need to start treating everybody the same. I’m only a small cafe and I don’t have as much pull as everyone else.

“People don’t want to come down this end of town, we’re just completely forgotten about. We don’t even have Christmas lights.”

Glynn Humphries, Service Director for Environment and Streetscene at Wakefield Council, said: “On the afternoon of 18 September 2019, the Council received a call from the police via our Customer Service Centre about a needle being found the area of The Springs.

“The following morning a cleaning crew was sent out and found two needles.

“Despite them being found on privately-owned land, the crew removed them.

“Residents and businesses can contact us on 0345 8 506 506 or direct message on Twitter @MyWakefield if they have questions, concerns or complaints.”