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Dangerous drugs den exposed

PUBLISHED: 22:08 01 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:44 02 March 2010

DRUG addicts have turned an innocent looking public toilet into a sordid and dangerous den, the Evening Star can reveal today.

By day, the toilet stands in full view of St Matthews Primary School and people eat their lunch on nearby benches.

DRUG addicts have turned an innocent looking public toilet into a sordid and dangerous den, the Evening Star can reveal today.

By day, the toilet stands in full view of St Matthews Primary School and people eat their lunch on nearby benches.

But by night, it becomes a Mecca for drug abuse.

Hypodermic needles and used condoms are left there and addicts are often seen creeping into the cubicle several times at night.

To highlight the scale of the problem an Evening Star investigation revealed a medical disposal bucket full of dirty syringes in the cleaning cupboard - a terrifying potential health hazard for innocent users of the toilet.

Our reporter witnessed a woman who camps in the toilet until the automatic timer opens the door after 15 minutes, then pays to go in again.

She has also been seen letting in another woman while in the cubicle.

On this occasion, she loitered impatiently for 25 minutes on a bench until the cleaner left.

Having stayed in there for a quarter of an hour, the door opened and she tried three or four times unsuccessfully to go back in, but the door became jammed.

She then left in frustration soon afterwards.

For Mick Griffiths, a car park attendant at the neighbouring Civic Spiral, these scenes are far too familiar.

He said: "I see that girl going in there four or five times a night.

"And I see other boys and girls going in there in twos and threes.

"What else could they be going in there for?

"They seem to know when somebody is in there because they knock on the door and are let in."

Mr Griffiths added: "We have had an ambulance out there a number of times. One guy stopped breathing once.

"It is very serious because if a child goes in there and picks up a needle you never know what might happen."

A freelance photographer, who had been covering a court case at the nearby crown court, has also seen needles there and witnessed suspicious goings on.

He said: "We spent a day watching it. We noticed a girl going and she then held the door open and a guy would follow her in.

"This is definitely a drugs den. There's no doubt it."

An Ipswich Borough Counil spokesman said: "We are working with the police and are keeping a close eye on the situation. Anyone with any information should contact the police immediately. If any needles are found we will remove them as soon as possible."

N What do you think? Do you think the toilet should be shut down? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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