Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter

HUDDLED in a doorway this man appears to smoke drugs in full view of passing shoppers.

As hundreds of bargain-hunters flocked to Newcastle to take advantage of the post-Christmas sales these men are seemingly indulging their addiction in the warmth of the city's Eldon Garden.

Stunned shop assistant Paul Graham snapped the disturbing image on his phone as he made his way to work on Monday.

And today as managers at the shopping centre vowed to step-up security patrols in the area, Paul told of his shock at seeing what appears to be drug abuse taking place in such a public place, in broad daylight.

The 43-year-old said: "I was really shocked to see them doing that inside the shopping centre. It must have been about 10am and they were blatantly doing it in full view. You don't expect to see that."

Paul was making his way to work when he came across the two men inside the entrance to Eldon Garden on Percy Street, near The Goose pub.

"I was on my way to work and as I was going up the escalator I saw them straight away in the corner of my eye," he said. "I just thought, 'they are up to something.' .' They were just standing in the corner smoking something."

Eldon Garden's management were not aware of this particular incident and operations manager Dave Mains said anyone caught hanging around in the doorways would be moved on.

He said: "We regularly patrol those areas and along the front of the building and if we did see something like that we would definitely report it to the police. And anyone who was in these we would ask to move on, mainly because it's a fire exit, we always keep them clear.

"I will look into this incident and we will step-up patrols in this area."

Paul's shock came just weeks after we revealed the true scale of drug-related begging in Newcastle. …

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