‘Crack, needles and condoms’ in playground at Finsbury Park church

St Thomas's Church. Picture: Polly Hancock

St Thomas's Church. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A Finsbury Park church will stop families using its playground next term because people are smoking crack, shooting up heroin and throwing used condoms into the children’s area.

Highbury West Police have ramped up patrols of St Thomas the Apostle church, off Gillespie Road, after receiving an increasing number of calls concerning “drug misuse” on its facilities.

There is also a playgroup attached to the church, and vicar Stephen Coles says security will have to be increased in order to safeguard the children.

He told the Gazette: “There is a problem in the area and I’m often finding people smoking up crack and cleaning stuff up.

“For the last year we have been finding used condoms and drug paraphernalia. You don’t want a child to find a used condom or a needle.”

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In recent months, he said a mother had also spotted a “nine inch blade”, which had been abandoned near the entrance to the playgroup.

Another “shocking” incident involved parents finding somebody injected drugs while in the playground area, said the vicar.

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Staff have tried padlocking the entrance to the playgroup, only for drug users to scale the wall into the playground.

The playground will be out of bounds from the beginning of next term while the church reviews security options, including the installation of new gate with which requires a code to get into the kid’s area.

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