Wiltshire

Drug needles in 'one in five fly-tipping' Swindon cases

More than one in five cases of fly-tipping in Swindon involve discarded drug needles, the borough council says.

The council was notified about more than 400 cases of dumped drugs paraphernalia in the 12 months up to March.

Resident Chris Watts said the needles were a "health risk".

Mr Watts was contacted by concerned residents in Dixon Street in the town when he was the Labour candidate for Eastcott in the local elections in May.

"If you walk down the alleyways, needles are a big problem," he said.

"If you clean up the alleys so you can see all the way through, it's less likely that people will use them to take drugs or whatever they are doing."

The large majority of back alleyways in Swindon are either designated as public highway or public rights of way, and will be cleared by the council of fly-tipping.

But where alleyways are privately owned, the council offers advice and cleaning equipment to residents, and will collect all rubbish cleared by them.

Community groups, such as Swindon Back Garden, have been set up by residents so they can work together to clear flytipping cases in privately-owned alleys in their area.

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