‘Drug needles covered in blood’ and other crimes scaring away residents from Sheffield park

Bloodstained needles dumped by drug addicts are scaring people away from a Sheffield park, say residents.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 3:10 pm

Drug use and antisocial behaviour at Mount Pleasant Park in Sharrow has prompted residents to send a 160 name petition to Sheffield Council.

Nighat Basharat, who presented the petition at a meeting, said residents wanted the park made safer, including better lighting.

She said: “Concerns have been raised by residents regarding one part of the park which is used as a dumping site.

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Nighat Basharat handed in a 160 name petition to Sheffield Council asking for Mount Pleasant Park at Sharrow to be made safer

“Due to its state, it has become an attraction for drug use and antisocial behaviour, creating fear.

“Drug needles have been left with bloodstains on them, which is very concerning as young children use this area.

“Some form of lighting towards the entrance of the park and by the cricket pitches would allow clear visibility during the evening and add a sense of security for those living nearby, including women, to feel safe.”

Important green space

Residents say drug users and antisocial behaviour is scaring them away from Mount Pleasant Park in Sharrow

Ms Basharat said she worked in the health sector and strongly encouraged people to stroll in the park when they are going through low mood and mental health issues.

She added: “This green space is very important for people’s health and wellbeing.

“Unfortunately, when you have parks that are not welcoming or used for other reasons, it causes barriers for locals to gain any benefits and the area is looked down upon.

“I would like your support to improve access for elderly people and those with disabilities, provide new seats and benches, improve lighting to deter antisocial behaviour and drug use, provide up to date facilities including exercise machines, plant seasonal flowers and to make the park more welcoming.

“We would like a therapeutic garden and overgrown bushes regularly tidied to prevent the park being used as a dumping ground and fly tipping hotspot.”

Tackling antisocial behaviour

Executive member Coun Alison Teal offered to visit the park and meet Ms Basharat and residents.

She said the Green Party had been campaigning for better lighting in parks for a while.

“In terms of antisocial behaviour, we are well aware there are problems with needles and they are collected regularly.

“I’ve been assured that’s the case so if people are still finding them, that is worrying because it’s being swept on a daily basis.

“A lot of the benches in the park were actually removed because of antisocial behaviour because it was leading to groups of people congregating.

“A lot of the bushes and plants were removed as well to try to reduce antisocial behaviour and to stop the needle waste.

“It is really tricky to get a balance right between those things but it’s certainly something we’re happy to look at.

“Wild Sheffield did the planting there and did a wildflower strip which was really lovely. I think they are wanting to extend the work so it would be really good for you to meet up and talk to those people as well.”