Drugs warning on Churchill

The alleyway in Churchill Park which is used by drug takers. INPT34-217.
The alleyway in Churchill Park which is used by drug takers. INPT34-217.

A Churchill Park man has said it is just a matter of time before he finds a child or young person lying dead outside his home from a drugs overdose.

The resident, who does not wish to be named for fear of retaliation, said he had seen children as young as 10 or 12 doing drugs, and has described the estate as “completely lawless”.

He has called for “everybody to work together” to put an end to it.

There have been warnings this week about a spiralling drugs problem across the province after a number of deaths.

The Churchill man, whose house overlooks an alleyway where the young people gather, said he had been forced to phone police three times on Saturday but that the drinking and drug-taking were an everyday occurrence.

He said, “The young ones are standing about watching the older ones doing it. They are doing it out on the footpath - and they are leaving stuff like the foil and plastic bottles behind them on the ground.

“I have even seen them standing in their school uniforms.

“At times there are up to 20 of them. Often, by the time the police get here, they are gone, or they scatter when they see the police coming.”

He added, “Most weekends I have to clean up broken bottles, bits of foil and even packaging for prescription drugs.”

The man, who has lived in the area for a number of years, said the substance taking had got “completely out of hand” in the past few months, adding that he was “at his wits’ end”.

“On Saturday night I never slept. I kept thinking the windows were going to be broken. Other residents are up in arms too. It is complete madness,” he said.

The original gates at each end of the alleyway were kicked down and more wooden ones erected just a fortnight ago. However, an attempt was made to set one of them alight by setting a bin on fire.

A representative from Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) said they had spoken at length to the Churchill Park resident, and are organising a meeting with the relevant statutory agencies as soon as possible to discuss potential solutions.

A Housing Executive spokesperson said, “There are plans to replace the wooden gates located at the Churchill Park area with metal gates. A contractor is assessing the appropriate design and hopes to proceed in the near future.”