HUNDREDS of used drugs needles have been found just metres away from where children play.

Three open boxes of syringes and empty bottles of methadone were found dumped in an alleyway between Hunslet Street and Thurston Street, Burnley.

Residents said their children were at risk of infection from the needles, which are believed to have been left by heroin addicts who inject themselves in the area.

But when the council was notified about the problem their workers refused to remove the needles as the land belonged to British Waterways, who have now begun a clean-up.

Father-of-three Patrick Jackson, 27, said that he was planning to move his family away from the neighbourhood after the incident.

And a councillor said that it was ‘infuriating’ that drug addicts were leaving the ‘dangerous’ needles in an area used by children.

Mr Jackson, who reported the problem on Wednesday, said: “It does not matter who the land belongs to or who removes the needles. What matters is that they are removed as soon as they are found.

“Children play within metres of the needles, including my three kids, it is absolutely horrible.”

Mr Jackson said he and his partner Leisha Banyard, 21, were moving their family out of the area because of the drug users and anti-social behaviour near the houses.

He said: “It’s getting ridiculous around here with all the drug users hanging around.

“We have tried everything to get them removed but there is no hope, and that’s one of the main reasons I am moving my family away from here.

“We have found methadone bottles in the street, in the alley, and we even found one in one of the houses nearby.

“It is not safe to live in this part of Burnley.”

Councillor Charlie Briggs, executive member for community safety, said he was “appalled” by the situation.

He said: “After all the work we have done to clean up Hunslet Street and Thurston Street this really has come as a massive blow.

“I am absolutely appalled that people do this sort of thing. It’s dangerous and anti-social.”

Sean Spencer, contracts manager with Burnley Council's Streetscene unit, said that they had immediately responded to the call and contacted British Waterways when they discovered the land, near the canal, belonged to them.

He said: "I've since visited the site several times and spoken to a local resident to explain what's happening and what was being done to solve the problem."

A spokesperson from British Waterways said: “We were notified about the needles and were there within the hour.

“On arrival, we erected a fence and have been removing the needles with the appropriate equipment.”

A spokesperson for the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust said facilities were available for drug users to dispose of their needles.

He said: “If people find any used needles in the community, this should be reported to the local borough council who will treat this information as a priority and arrange for this to be cleared up.”

“There is also a harm reduction service based at Burnley House, Westgate, who provide a full needle exchange service and dispose of used needles safely.”