Drug takers are warned off using family picnic area in Waterlooville

NOT HAPPY Councillor David Keast in woodland near his home which has been used by drug takers.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120897-2)
NOT HAPPY Councillor David Keast in woodland near his home which has been used by drug takers. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120897-2)
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A BIT of detective work by a local councillor has helped to stamp out a drug problem.

For years drug users have congregrated at night at a picnic table in woods off Topaz Grove, Waterlooville.

Drugs paraphernalia has been found around the picnic area, putting local families off using it.

Sick and tired of the problem, the ward councillor, David Keast, decided enough was enough.

He discovered a torn-up letter by the picnic table.

By piecing it together, it revealed the address of one of the offenders.

The information was passed on to police, who searched a home in Waterlooville.

Officers seized cannabis and arrested a 16-year-old boy, who was questioned and is being prosecuted for his actions.

Officers have also put a sign up in the area, saying the drug-taking will not be tolerated.

Cllr Keast said: ‘For years now it’s been a regular haunt of druggies, with various groups at various times.

‘The police suggested moving the picnic table.

‘The woods are used by mums and dads and their children and we didn’t see why we should stop them using that.

‘I thought we were doing it the wrong way round.’

Cllr Keast said he had no second thoughts about reporting the information he found to police.

He said: ‘If people take drugs on my patch, that’s something I don’t want to see.

‘Residents deserve a safe place to be able to walk.’

The teenager is being dealt with by the youth offending team via restorative justice – whereby he must make amends for his wrongdoing in the community.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘Police worked with the council to clear the area of litter, deter future use by offenders, and are in the process of setting up Neighbourhood Watch in that road.

‘The team has carried out routine high-visibility patrols in the area.

‘This area remains a priority for the team and routine patrols will continue to help deter problems happening again.’