‘DISRESPECTFUL’ youths are using a cemetery as a place to exchange drugs, residents at a PACT meeting claimed.

During a heated discussion at the Royston Police and Communities Together (PACT) meeting held on Tuesday, residents on New Street raised their concerns at the rise in cars driving in and out of Royston Cemetery throughout the night, in what appears to be a meeting place for drug dealers and users.

One resident who lives on the street branded the act ‘disrespectful’, and said the cemetery used to be locked on a night, preventing such activity happening.

The lock was removed ‘a while ago’, leaving the cemetery open at all hours.

Coun Caroline Makinson, who represents the Royston ward, said: “The cemetery does need locking on a night and I will be passing on my concerns to bereavement services. I am not sure why the chain was removed.”

The issue of drugs in the North East area was a huge topic at the meeting, with residents from Monk Bretton raising concerns about drug use on St Helen’s Way, where there is a phone box.

Residents complained that the increase in the number of people using the phone box as a place to sell drugs was preventing pensioners from wanting to go outside or go into Sainsbury’s through fear.

Fear was also a factor preventing residents from reporting the incident, a matter which Sgt Richard Wilson said should not be the case.

“My team is not going to clear Barnsley of drugs but it is important that you report it, whether it’s by contacting 101 or calling Crimestoppers anonymously.

“We are aware of the drug situation arising in Monk Bretton and Royston and we have been running operations to sweep up users and investigate individuals.

“We need people to report what is happening so we can build a picture of where the issues are and along with our intelligence, we can apply for things such as search warrants. We need the information to support what we can do.

“Now that I am aware of what is happening, I am quite happy to look into drugs and place particular focus on the New Street area of Royston.”