Needles and other drug paraphernalia have been spotted at the site of a former Wilko store in County Durham less than two months after the shop shut its doors for good. 

On September 26 this year, Chester-le-Street was one of the last County Durham stores belonging to Wilko that closed after the high street retailer fell into administration in August.

The Northern Echo: Wardens picking up needles at the former Wilko siteWardens picking up needles at the former Wilko site (Image: DCC WARDENS)

The branch was one of over 400 branches of Wilko to close nationwide. 

In the two months that have followed since the Wilko closure in Chester-Le-Street, an increase in drug-taking has been seen at the site on Osborne Road.

The Northern Echo: The former Wilko store in Chester-Le-StreetThe former Wilko store in Chester-Le-Street (Image: CONTRIBUTOR)

This was highlighted earlier this week after officers from Durham County Council's neighbourhood wardens found needles and other drug paraphernalia outside the entrance to the former Wilko, as well as round the side of the now empty building. 

The neighbourhood wardens, who are in charge of patrolling and working alongside the police, were also pictured picking up the items and disposing of them safely while out in Chester-Le-Street.


Get more content including the stories that matter to your community from The Northern Echo for just £6 for 6 months for a limited time only here.

Alongside the drug activity, the wardens also noted that they have collected some Nitrous Oxide canisters that had been used in a local hot spot area of Stanley, transported a dog for Durham Constabulary from the Stanley area to Stray Aid, Coxhoe, and done an area search for two dogs that were running loose in Waldridge, Chester Le Street.

During this week, they have also assisted police with loose horses at Pickering Nook, all horses were safely put back into their field with the help of the owners and other members of the public, alongside educated members of the public at Riverside Park, Chester Le Street in regards to the Public Space Protection Order about dogs, and locating and moving a burnt out quad bike from New Brancepeth, Durham ready for Clean and Green to remove.