Toilets users urged to keep it clean

THETFORD Town Council has warned public toilets could close if users do not clean up their act.

THETFORD Town Council has warned public toilets could close if users do not clean up their act.

The council, which is responsible for all public toilets in the town, was forced to close disabled toilets on Cage Lane last month and then again last week because drug-users were using the location.

Councillor Pauline Quadling manages the Riversdale Centre and has seen people suspiciously entering the toilets from Tanner Street.

She has called the police a number of times about drug taking and dealing from the toilets and said the problem needs to be sorted and not just moved somewhere else.

“Younger kids were also going in there and you can tell what they're up to,” she said. “It's an issue and it concerns the public's safety.”

The toilets are the responsibility of the council, who employ someone to maintain them twice daily.

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At a council meeting, town clerk Ed Chambers said sanitary bins were used to stash drug paraphernalia and said drug taking in the toilet was an 'ongoing problem'.

He also said there was a security problem with the disabled toilets connecting to the radar key scheme which it uses to operate.

Speaking after the meeting he said: “It's something we're monitoring. It would have to be something extreme to warrant to them closing but the moment it appears the public are at risk we would close them.”

The Matthew Project, which operates out of Tanner Court in Tanner Street, is a substance misuse service, and says it is aware of the problem in public toilets.

Nicola Lambert, manager at The Matthew Project Thetford, said: “It is totally unacceptable to leave any drug-related paraphernalia in the public toilets. We tell people to use the disposal bins or return the used needles to us as we offer a safe needle exchange service.

“It's our work to build motivation and hope. We want people to stop using drugs and reducing harm is what we're about - on people themselves and the surrounding community.”

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