A PUBLIC toilet block on Canvey has become a hot spot for rough sleepers and drug users, it is claimed.

The toilet block next to Canvey War Memorial Hall, High Street, was previously closed due to reports of drug dealing and drug use inside the unit.

The toilets have re-opened to offer the community the facility.

A neighbour said: “There’s been homeless people sleeping in there recently, and drug paraphernalia has been found in there by children.

“I’m not associating the homeless with drugs, but clearly it’s not a safe place to be sleeping.”

Peter Grieg, councillor for Canvey Winter Gardens, feels more options need to be made available to rough sleepers and people suffering from addiction to reduce the amount of activity happening on Canvey. He said: “We have asked about the possible solution of bringing in five special constables and hopefully when they come here they will be able to patrol the area.

“They would only be deployed on the island so that would be helpful in reducing this type of behaviour and other criminal activity too.

“I do sympathise with rough sleepers and people suffering from addiction as they need all the help they can get

“Some times though perhaps they do not want or appreciate the help offered. When you get that kind of situation where people in need refuse support, they potentially need to be forced to be helped for want of a better word.”

Castle Point Council denied problems have returned. A spokesman for the council said an inspection had been carried out this week and there was no evidence of drugs or rough sleeping. The spokesman added the porch windows and doors were sealed following reports earlier this year.