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“We don’t want to be vigilantes” - village football team asks for council help stopping drug users

PUBLISHED: 16:02 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 27 November 2018

Laughing gas canisters found by Great Blakenham village hall. Picture: HADLEIGH POLICE

Laughing gas canisters found by Great Blakenham village hall. Picture: HADLEIGH POLICE

Hadleigh Police

The community in a Suffolk village a demanding council support to fight a rise in drug use on their playing fields.

Great Blakenham's vilagers and footballers dixed their play part in August this year. Picture: RACHEL EDGEGreat Blakenham's vilagers and footballers dixed their play part in August this year. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Laughing gas canisters, also called nitrous oxide, were found next to the Great Blakenham Village Hall, near Ipswich, on Saturday 18 November. Hadleigh Police tweeted a picture of the canisters, saying: “These are dangerous, can kill and supply is against the law.”

Nitrous oxide is used in medicine and dentistry for its pain killing effects, but it is also inhaled as a recreational drug and sold in pressurised gas canisters.

Kieran Doggett is the chairman of the Great Blakenham Chequers Football Club, whose team play and train on the field next to the village hall.

He said: “I have spoken to the guys again and we all agree that it is a disgusting thing to do.

“As our reserve team manager lives in the village he has offered to take regular walks around the field to see if anyone is there – but we don’t want to turn into a vigilante group.

“It’s really unbelievable that teenagers or adults think this is an appropriate thing to do, in particular in a public place.”

The team have contacted Great Blakenham parish council and hope that something can be done to deter this kind of anti-social behaviour in the picturesque village.

In August this year, climbing frames, swings and other play park equipment next to the village hall had white spray paint daubed all over them in a night-time attack.

Mr Doggett’s community-spirited band of footballers pledged to clear up the vandalised park and sent a powerful message to the culprits who trashed it.

Their actions even prompted the teenager who admitted to vandalising the child’s play area to write a letter apology for the crime – and pay £100 compensation.

Mr Doggett’s children also come along to some of the club’s training sessions, but the latest discoveries on the field have left him with concerns.

He added: “I am not worried about anyone being out there alone as we always go to train and play as a team, but the fact is that my partner and my children often come with me.

“If my three-year-old picked up one of those I would be devastated. We don’t know what’s on paraphernalia like that or where it has been.”

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