Published: 08:50, 01 November 2017
Action is being taken to tackle suspected drug abuse inside one south Kent's most popular family parks.
Reports have surfaced of toilets in Radnor Park, off of Cheriton Road in Folkestone, being used for illicit activity.
The public convenience stands metres from newly built children’s play equipment, part of Shepway District Council’s (SDC) £400,000 overhaul this summer.
With parents saying the suspected drug taking is forcing them to ‘think twice’ about using the park, authorities say steps are being taken to address the ‘upsetting behaviour’.
Carly Johnson, a 37-year-old mother-of-one, says she refuses to allow her child to use the toilets, opting instead for the Radnor Park Tea Room’s facilities.
She explained: “I come here now and then because I have family (in Folkestone), so it’s ideal for us on a sunny day.
“But it’s become well-known these toilets should be avoided and it does make me think twice about whether we should go to another park.”
A nearby resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had complained to the council after seeing the same group of suspected users loitering nearby.
Kent Police and SDC say they are working together to combat the problem, amid a significant number of complaints on the council’s Facebook page.
Insp Maxine Harris, from the Folkestone Community Safety Unit, said: “We are aware of a reported issue with drugs misuse at the public toilets in Radnor Park and we are working with Shepway council to combat this.
“This behaviour is not acceptable and we are working with our partner agencies to prevent it from happening in future" - Shepway council spokesman
“Officers regularly patrol the area as part of a preventative strategy.
“We are also appealing to the public to report anti-social behaviour to us by phoning 101 or speaking to their local Police Community Support Officer.”
She added the information will help the police to build a picture of potential drugs misuse, allowing the force to effectively target resources.
An Shepway council spokesman said: “We have received reports of drug taking in the toilets at Radnor Park.
“We understand that this is upsetting for people using the park.
“This behaviour is not acceptable and we are working with our partner agencies to prevent it from happening in future.
“If members of the public see criminal activity, please report it to the police.”
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