ANGRY parents are demanding answers after youngsters found bags of suspected heroin dumped in a play park.
Children as young as 10 were among a group who discovered the packages, during a half-term visit to The Flatts in Easington Lane.
Tonight, families will meet with police, council chiefs and housing bosses to discuss the shock find and other issues around the park.
Pauline Avey said her grandsons Charlie Gray, 10, and Thomas Gray, 11, were in the group which found the five bags.
Another package, thought to contain cannabis, was also discovered hours later.
The 54-year-old foster mum and grandmother-of-six said: “For the last six or seven weeks, it’s just been a no-go area for the little ones because of the gangs congregating.
“My grandsons were just kicking leaves about with some friends and one of them said ‘I’ve found bags of sniff’ and he was only a 10-year-old lad.
“Charlie was out with his brother Thomas and he has ADHD and OCD, so we don’t know what would have happened if Thomas has come across it.
“It’s a disgrace and it’s close to the community centre, so everybody goes there.
“It’s bad craic the bairns found that, some of my friends who have five and six-year-olds play near there, but you can’t let them now because the gangs have set fires and there are massive holes.
“One bairn, she was only 13, she couldn’t stand she was as drunk as a monkey.
She added: “It’s not just kids from Easington Lane – they’re coming from Hetton, and at the bus stop one night there was about 50 of them and the police sent one Community Support Officer (PCSO).”
Residents living close to the park, between Brick Garth and Elemore Lane, say the find is just the latest cause for concern.
They say gangs of up to 50 youngsters have gathered on some evenings, setting fires on the land, and girls as young as 13 left so drunk they cannot stand. Trails of smashed glass and empty cans have also been left around the park.
Pauline, who is mum to Sharon Gray 35, and Thomas, 33, added she does not take the four-year-old boy she is fostering to the park because of the problems and said Sunderland City Council had launched a clear-up of the site since she and other residents complained about the state of the park.
Northumbria Police has confirmed officers have recovered the substances which were found on Monday at 3.30pm.
Neighbourhood Inspector Lisa Musgrove, said: “We recognise that anti-social behaviour can have a negative impact on our communities and work to address any concerns people may have regarding this.
“We’re aware there were issues in the area of Brickgarth where fires were being started deliberately and have worked with the fire service to address these.
“Officers carry out regular patrols throughout the area and will ensure those who are responsible for causing a nuisance are dealt with.”
A police and community meeting will be held tonight at 6pm at Easington Lane Access Point in Brick Garth.