ONGOING problems regarding the supply and use of illegal drugs in the Thornwell area of Chepstow have prompted an angry reaction from locals.

Last week a large cache of used hypodermic syringes and drug paraphernalia was found in Bluebell Woods.

Many of the syringes either contained blood or had bloody needles. There was also a sharp scissors discarded on the floor, as well as broken glass bottles.

This latest find follows another recent discovery of what one local resident estimated to be 300 unused syringes in Bluebell Woods.

Such incidents have shocked locals, who fear for the safety of young children who like to play there.

"Everyone in the community is disgusted," one local man said. "There's blood in the syringes, there are crack pipes made out of bottles and syringes.

"It must have been going on for months, but you wouldn't see it if you were walking through the woods, because there are only one or two footpaths."

He said the syringes had been found around 30 feet from a footpath.

The Thornwell residents who found the syringes contacted the police and the local authority, who sent a team to safely collect and dispose of the dangerous items.

"The volumes would suggest they have been dumped locally rather than being used and left in the woods," a spokeswoman for Monmouthshire County Council said. "Charter Housing and the local police are aware of the issue.

"We would encourage anyone who finds paraphernalia like needles to report it rather than attempting to remove the items themselves.”

Thornwell ward councillor Armand Watts said he feared drugs gangs from outside Monmouthshire were "expanding their operations" into the county.

Following the discovery of the syringes, Sergeant Nigel Callard, Gwent Police's local neighbourhood sergeant for South Monmouthshire, said: "We take reports of this nature seriously and I want to assure residents illegal drugs use remains a priority.

"Work continues to tackle instances like this in the area, based on local intelligence."

On Tuesday morning, Gwent Police raided a property in the Bulwark area of Chepstow, seizing what was thought to be a quantity of Class-A drugs.

That substance will now be sent away for forensic examination and identification.

Sgt Callard said: "We understand the concerns of residents and would encourage anyone who comes across such material or anyone who has any information about illegal drug activity in their area to contact us on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"We will continue to target the area to combat illegal drugs use and supply within our communities."