Parents are being urged to be vigilant after a bloody heroin kit was found next to a playground in the Falls Park. The drug paraphernalia – which included used needles, bloodied swabs and a metal spoon – was found behind the playpark on Tuesday morning by park rangers.
Local Councillor and Chair of Belfast City Council’s Parks and Leisure Services Committee, Steven Corr, said he was thankful the drugs were found by adults.
“Falls Park staff are always ensuring that it is run and looked after to an exceptional standard,” he said. “There is great work being done in the park and we’ve had a prolonged period of good weather.
“The Falls Park is not a place for drinking or drug taking – we have worked extremely hard to make it a safe place for families and it’s with a sense of despair that we find this has happened. A zero tolerance approach is what is needed.
“PSNI and park staff have been second to none in working to ensure that the Falls Park was accommodated for families throughout the period of good weather we have had recently. We had families having picnics and barbecues all week. This is our space.”
“There’s no question that the people who do this need help. To take drugs in a public park is beyond comprehension and I stress again that these people need help,” he said.
“The Falls Park is coming back to its former glory, the amount of good work that’s taken place since the start of the year speaks for itself and we have community groups and schools using it on a daily basis. There is a major investment planned for the Falls Park and I don’t want what has happened here with this discovery to jeopardise that in any way.
“My message is clear: anyone that wants to come into this park and drink or take drugs – don’t – you are not wanted and stay away.”
Speaking on behalf of the Falls Community Council’s Community Drug Programme, Benny Lynch said he would like to commend the vigilance of the staff of the Falls Park. “The staff at the Falls Park were going about their daily work when they found and removed drug using equipment, usually used by heroin users, not far from the children’s playpark.
“We want to take this opportunity to ask parents to be vigilant and advise family members to be careful when out and about in areas like this and if they do come across any drug using equipment not to touch it, but to report it to someone in the community or at the Falls Community Council who will know how to dispose of the equipment.
“We would point out that this type of equipment is not commonly left in open spaces in West Belfast and anyone having any concerns or issues over drugs should contact us on 02890202030 or else they can also email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Echoing that message, a Belfast City Council spokeswoman said: “Parks staff found some items of drugs paraphernalia in the Falls Park over the weekend and they have disposed of it. We would appeal to people to be vigilant and contact our parks staff or the PSNI if they come across such items in the future.”