The discovery of discarded hypodermic needles in Sion Mills has led to increased fears that heroin abuse could be taking place within the village.
In recent days two such ‘sharps’ were located near the Cricket Pavilion and police were notified. The items were taken away by officers.
The find follows the discovery of a large quantity of cannabis in the Sion Mills area last month, a development which heightened concerns from the previous week that young people were under the influence of drugs, after a number of antisocial incidents, including one young person being found unconscious.
“This is an alarming twist,” community activist Andy Patton admitted. “Is it heroin or what’s being taken? We don’t know. But it would be very alarming to think that anyone is using that drug in the local area.
“Dabbling in stupid things in one thing but something like heroin is much bigger and much more serious, especially with regards to addiction.”
Praising police officers for their quick response Mr Patton says he would like to see increased patrols in the area, particularly in the wake of this find.
“In recent weeks there have been a number of finds and incidents,” the local man continued.
“There is definitely drugs in the area and this is just further proof.
“I will certainly be looking for police to be more active.”
He added, “At this stage I would appeal to parents of youths and also to parents of adults to be aware of this latest issue.
“Of late there has been large groups of youths in or around the village who make their way down to the Brae area and police are aware of that.
“Also to anyone who is supplying alcohol to young people we would advise them to check age ID. Police have said they will be monitoring issues in the village.
“I would like to thank PSNI for their prompt attendance and for taking the items away for safety.”