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Fears over new syringes after Shepway District Council clears drug den in Folkestone

By Sean Axtell

Fears have been raised after used hypodermic needles appeared inside an abandoned town centre underpass - days after a council cleared a huge drug den from the pathway.

A volunteer group last Monday sounded the alarm on discovering a sea of syringes in Middleburg Square, Folkestone, prompting Shepway District Council (SDC) to clear it the next day.

But a total of three syringes with exposed needles were discovered when we visited on Sunday, laying metres from Precious Times nursery.

One of three syringes spotted on Sunday afternoon
One of three syringes spotted on Sunday afternoon

Burnt tin foil and a scattering of syringe packets could also be seen inside the subway, which was sealed up when Bouverie Place Shopping Centre was built.

But SDC says inspectors on Monday morning found no syringes and the authority is ‘working with partners to find a long term solution.’

It has ignited renewed calls to block access on the Cheriton Road side, however floods of people on social media said it could push drug users elsewhere.

Syringe container
Syringe container

Steven Caballero said: “As the subway is now a dead end why didn’t they close off the entrance rather than just brick up the tunnel once you are down there?

“It makes no sense.

Syringe packaging
Syringe packaging

An SDC spokesman said: ““We are aware that drug users have been attracted to the area and have left syringes there as a result.

"We will be carrying out frequent inspections so we can promptly clear the area if necessary.

Before the clearance
Before the clearance

Cleansing of this area to date has not incurred any additional charge.

They continued: “An inspection was carried out this morning and there were no syringes.”

A police spokesman said they are aware of the underpass and urge people with information on drugs use and supply to call 101.

Before the clearance
Before the clearance

The drug den surfaced when a member of the Town Sprucer team uncovered about 60 discarded needles, a soiled bed and smashed glass strewn among the waste.

Within hours of being told about the mess, staff from Shepway District Council had cleared up the area.

After clearance
After clearance

Precious Times nursery has been approached for comment.

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