Park drug den shut down

A drug den that was being used by a gang of teenagers in a park has been shut down by police.

Saturday, 15th August 2015, 2:00 pm
Newspaper: Hemsworth Express. Story: The remains of a den used by local youths to gather and take drugs. The den, on South Elmsall recreation ground, has been cut down, as police and the local council get tough on where people are starting to gather. Photo date: 11/08/15 Picture Ref: AB170a0815

People living near South Elmsall Recreation Ground, off Westfield Lane, said they were concerned about the groups of youths after they found bongs hidden in trees at the site.

And they also told the Express youths had been gathering at the site on an evening and staying there until the early hours of the morning playing loud music, causing trouble and leaving litter.

Insp Geoff Carter, of South East neighbourhood police team, said police, together with South Elmsall Town Council, have now cut down trees the youths were using as a den.

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He also said he was concerned for the health of the teenagers after officers found drugs paraphernalia.

Insp Carter said: “This issue has been brought to our attention by people living close to the site.

“Bongs and drugs paraphernalia have been found up at the site and we are very concerned about safeguarding our young people.

“This kind of behaviour not only has a massive effect on people living close to the park but also has an effect on the youths’ health.”

Clare Baxter, South Elmsall town clerk, said youths had been meeting near an old electricity store on the ground.

Ms Baxter said: “This is a really emotive issue and it’s very frustrating for us that we are having to use our resources on it.

“We would like to reassure people we are working with Wakefield Council, West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield and District Housing to address it.”

Insp Carter said: “I would ask parents to ensure they know where they know where their children are.

“Parents could play an important part in cracking down on this kind of behaviour.”