HEROIN worth £22,000 has been found in Strathclyde Park - just days before the venue welcomes youngsters from all over the world for the International Children’s Games.

Police swooped on the massive haul after it was buried near a car park in broad daylight on Monday last week.

A cyclist had stopped for a drink when he noticed a man hiding items in undergrowth around 4pm.

He waited until the man had left the scene and went over to investigate, finding several packages under soil and foliage.

Officers were called to the area, off Bothwellhaugh Road and close to M&Ds Theme Park, and bagged up the substance, which was sent for analysis.

The shocking find came as preparations were made for the park to host the the sailing competition as part of the prestigious International Children’s Games which begin today (Thursday).

Police have released a description of the suspect in the hope of attracting witnesses.

He is said to be white, aged 25 to 35, between 5’10” and 6’ tall, with short, light brown hair. He was clean shaven and was wearing a white or light coloured top and dark trousers.

Police have praised the vigilance of the cyclist who has prevented the Class A drug making its way on to the streets.

Community safety officer PC James Ruddell said: “The police cannot be everywhere all of the time, but the public can be our eyes and ears and help us keep people safe.

“As in this case, a simple call can help us disrupt criminal activity.

“A chance incident where a cyclist noticed someone in bushes, not doing anything obviously dangerous or illegal, has resulted in the discovery and seizure of a significant quantity of drugs.

“Recently we had a number of children injured by discarded needles in Forgewood and the public outrage gave us information, helping us arrest those suspected of supply in the area.

“By giving us good information, we can work together and disrupt those people who lead lives of crime and destroy the communities they live in.”

He added: “We do everything we can to keep people safe and have set three very high priorities - serious crime and terrorism; violence, disorder and antisocial behaviour, and public protection.

“In order for us to work effectively in each of these areas it is important that the public understand they can play a role to help us and in turn help themselves.”

Anyone with information regarding the find is urged to call PC Kevin Sherry on 01236 502000 or Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old Bellshill man has been found dead in South Calder Water, the river which runs between Motherwell and Bellshill.

The body of John Scott, of Community Road, was discovered last Thursday after an extensive search.

He was reported missing last Tuesday - a day after he was last seen in Strathclyde Park near to Bellshill Golf Course.

Inspector Stuart Hurry, of Bellshill Police Office, said: “There would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, but we are continuing enquiries into John’s last movements.”