COMMUNITY clean-up volunteers have removed drug users' discarded needles from a sports pavilion in Hereford.

The needles, which carry a high risk of contamination, were found littering the floor of the cricket pavilion on Widemarsh Common.

Andrew Wood, of Prior Road, Hereford, one of the organisers of Hereford Community Clean-up Group, said: "It is a pity we have people who think it is okay to dispose of needles in this way, where youngsters play.

"The fault here lies with the disgusting people who just dumped them with open needle. They are scum of the first degree."

He said he had cleaned up the pavilion and had contacted Herefordshire Council's contractor Balfour Beauty Living Places, who would be collecting them for safe disposal.

He said the group had reported problems in the area to the council several times, but was not satisfied that action had been taken.

"I, along with others, constantly pick the litter up all around there. The pavilion is a nightmare, and the issue needs sorting out before someone gets hurt."

Alex Cheetham, of Sidney Box Drive, Hereford, who was the first person to spot the discarded needles, said: "As a young person and a young mother I am growling incredibly concerned that my son or a young child will pick up a needle. I feel like more needs to be done about this. 

"Kids play football on that common, people walk dogs and many more. This isn't the first place I've seen needles. How long is this going to go on for before someone gets hurt?"

She said she would like to see a swifter response from the authorities when a call is made from items such as drugs paraphernalia to be safely cleared away.