Drug takers made a bee-line for a children’s hut in a nursery playground and set up camp inside to take illegal substances.
The incident happened the weekend before last in the playground of Glencairn Primary in Motherwell, which is shared with nursery tots who use the cosy shed as a place to play.
The drug-takers made themselves at home in the hut which has a mini-sofa and toy kitchen – and left the place foul-smelling and littered with drugs paraphernalia.
Now questions are being asked about the response to this incident both on the part of police and North Lanarkshire Council – after a concerned parent made contact with the Motherwell Times.
The parent said that the police were called but refused to send anyone out to the scene.
It is also claimed that a lone janitor and a volunteer were left to clear the area – with no help from the council’s environmental health team. The parent alleges that the items left included needles – although the council has vigorously denied this.
The parent said: “Fortunately the staff at the nursery checked the shed before the children arrived. I dread to think what could have happened had this not been the case.
“The contents of the shed had to be removed and disposed of to be on the safe side.
“I was shocked by this on a number of levels.
“I appreciate the police have limited resources but this is unforgiveable – this is a nursery!
“Any forensic evidence is now gone. There must be CCTV in the area which I imagine may be over-written and I would think the local police would have an idea of who the likely perpetrators would be.
“At the very least, forensics should have attended or crime prevention should have visited with advice on improving safety.
“I also deeply concerned about the lack of support for the staff. I am led to believe the janitor had to clear up this situation with the help of the father of the school headmistress.
“I would have thought at the very least, the council’s own environmental health department would have supported this.”
A council spokesman refused to be drawn on the way the matter had been handled but denied again that needles had been found.
He said: “We would urge anyone with information about the recent damage to the nursery outdoor play hut to contact the police.
“We are also appealing to the local community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to 101.”
The Motherwell Times was not informed of the incident when we made our Monday police call but Police Scotland agreed to release a statement on the matter when details of the incident finally emerged via the parent
A police spokesperson said: “We are aware of the incident at Glencairn Nursery. Officers from the Community Safety and Local Problem Solving departments will be visiting the nursery to provide safety advice and reassurance to staff.”