A 14-YEAR-OLD girl is leading the fight to reclaim a Basildon park from druggies who use it to shoot-up class A drugs.
Lacey Keeble, was “totally disgusted” after stumbling across a “drug den” filled with used needles, papers, drug wrappers and cooking spoons.
She was so shocked by the state of the woodland, which is off Gun Hill Place in Basildon, that she filmed it on her mobile phone.
Miss Keeble is now calling on Essex Police and Basildon Council to re-claim the woodland for local residents.
The Woodlands School pupil, who said: “I was walking home from town with my cousin and friend, it was quite hot so we decided to walk through the trees to get some shade.
“What we found was disgusting. The floor was covered in needles and papers. You could not get through without stepping on something.
“I was scared that one of us might step on a needle so we decided to get out and go the long way round.
“It’s really worrying, a child, a dog or a dog walker could step on something.
“Me and my dad spoke to some neighbours there and apparently it has been an issue for a long time.”
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Councillors Pat and Phil Rackley, from Basildon Council met with Lacey on Tuesday so she could point out the problems.
Mrs Rackley said: “There is a problem in that area with drug dealing and we thank Lacey for pointing out the issue at Gun Hill Place.
“We have been in touch with Basildon Police and the relevant council officers to get the area cleared.”
Sergeant Paul Costin, from Essex Police said he had recently been made aware of issues at Gun Hill Place.
“I will now be looking at putting resources in to tackling the problem,” he said.
“We are committed to disrupting the activities of drug users and dealers in Basildon and rely heavily on community intelligence.
“I would urge anyone who has concerns about this kind of activity in their area to contact me or my officers on 101 or crime stoppers on 0800 555111, so we can take action.”
A spokesman from Basildon Council said officers had been sent to the area this week to remove and destroy the needles.
He said: "We have been alerted to the possibility of syringes at Gun Hill Place and have already despatched officers to locate, collect and destroy any they find.
“We’re grateful for the vigilance of our residents in these situations, as it’s vitally important they are reported to the council as soon as possible so appropriate action can be taken.”