Wakefield residents have ‘had enough’ of drug dens on their doorsteps after body found in bushes

Residents have had enough of finding used needles and other drugs paraphernalia on Marsh Way.
Residents have had enough of finding used needles and other drugs paraphernalia on Marsh Way.

Residents say they have had enough of makeshift ‘drug dens’ along a busy stretch of road in Wakefield city centre after a body was found at the weekend.

Police cordoned off Marsh Way on Saturday morning after the discovery in bushes, opposite Sainsbury’s on Trinity Walk.

ACTION NEEDED: Members of Wakefield East Residential Association want an area of land on Marsh Way cleaned up.

ACTION NEEDED: Members of Wakefield East Residential Association want an area of land on Marsh Way cleaned up.

Members of Wakefield East Residential Association (WERA), many of whom just live yards away on Trilby Street and Denstone Street, say used needles, drug paraphernalia, empty beer cans and even human waste are being found on a daily basis and is turning the stretch of road into a major health hazard.

In at least four different areas in the overgrown bushes there is evidence of illegal drug use, while sleeping bags have also been found suggesting users are even living there.

Residents want to see the bushes removed or cut back to a point where anyone in the undergrowth is visible from the street.

One member of WERA said: “The body was found on Saturday and the next day there were another six used needles found.

“We’ve found up to 30 needles in one day. It’s disgusting, they are using this area all the time.

“It’s been going on about six months now, we’ve asked the council to cut it all back so it can be seen from the road.

“This is not right, what’s it going to take until something is done about it?

“Will it take a kid to pick up a dirty needle? We do not want another death. That was someone’s son, brother or dad.

“We know resources are tight but how long does this have to go on before something is done?”

The body of the man was found shortly after 11.20am on Saturday and the area was quickly cordoned off. Police said they are not treating it as suspicious, but a 27-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs in connection with his death.

Ward councillor for Wakefield East, Stuart Heptinstall, has been working with the residents to find a solution to the problem of drug users using the bushes.

He said: “ I can understand their frustration and sympathise with them and all the problems they have been having down there.

“There’s been a lot of issues in that area - there’s parking, street drinking and anti social behaviour.

“The police and the council are aware because we are reporting it constantly, if there are syringes found they are taken away immediately.”

Coun Maureen Cummings, said: “Marsh Way is a matter of great concern for the council.

“Since May the police has stepped up patrols which have resulted in a large reduction in the number of calls to collect needles. Whilst removing the barriers, plants and bushes to improve surveillance of the area and make it less attractive to needle users, it would also result in the removal of the acoustic barrier, pollution barrier and aesthetic barrier and this may not be an acceptable solution.”