Concerns over toilet drug use at Doncaster marketplace

Shoppers at Doncaster Markets on Christmas Eve 2015. Traders say even though it looks busy, there are less people than there has been previously and business is the worst it has been for many years.
Shoppers at Doncaster Markets on Christmas Eve 2015. Traders say even though it looks busy, there are less people than there has been previously and business is the worst it has been for many years.
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Residents and traders are calling on Doncaster Council to take action over concerns that the market place toilets are being used for drug taking.

Shopper Kathryn Wroe told how she saw a man injecting himself with drugs at the market place toilets with the ‘door wide open’.

“I went to use the market toilets to find a drug user injecting in a cubicle. It’s a good job my children weren’t with me,” said Kathryn, of Wheatley Hills.

The 36-year-old added: “I made a council worker at the market aware of it. The market used to be a nice place to shop, but now people don’t come round due to the intimidation of the drug users.”

Vice president of the Doncaster Market Traders’ Federation, Nigel Berry, says traders have noticed the toilets being used for drug taking, and are concerned it could have an impact of the number of people visiting the market.

He said “It’s something we’ve noticed happening. Not with the door open, but because we see the drug paraphernalia being left there. There’s also been quite a few occasions recently where people have been found slumped over in the market toilets and we’ve had to call ambulances for them. What they need to do is to criminalise anyone who appears to be intoxicated. We’ve complained about it a number of times, the council needs to do something.”

Doncaster Council opted to move a drop-in session held by Caring in Doncaster to feed the homeless from the market place to a car park near to Chappell Drive after receiving complaints from traders. The plans have since been put on hold while the council discusses suitable locations for the drop-in session.

Peter Dale, Director for Regeneration and Environment, said: “We are aware of the issues around substance misuse around the Market Place and we are working hard with partner agencies, the police and volunteers to address the issues. This is a complex issue and unfortunately there is not a quick fix for this.