JUNKIES have been shooting up a stones’ throw from the graves of fallen servicemen.

Drug needles were found by council officers in Radnor Street Cemetery.

The Victorian town centre cemetery - the final resting place for around 33,000 former Swindon residents - boasts 104 Commonwealth War Graves.

The cemetery was designated a local nature reserve in 2005. It is owned and managed by Swindon Borough Council.

History group Swindon Heritage take an active interest in the cemetery. During the summer months, volunteers run monthly walks – giving people the opportunity to find out more about the characters that have been buried there.

A message shared on the group’s Radnor Street Cemetery Facebook page this week revealed the drugs-related find.

Thanking the council officers for cutting the grass and leaving the cemetery “neat and tidy”, the group said: “Three cheers for the Swindon Borough Council groundsmen who have been hard at work at the cemetery during recent weeks.”

However, they said that the groundsmen raised two problems, “which as a small group of volunteers it is difficult to know how to address”.

They said that a “large amount” of needles had been found by the groundsmen.

Additionally, council staff strimming back grass from the 100-year-old graves had found themselves spattered with dog excrement – after pet-owners failed to pick up their dogs’ mess.

Large signs at the entrance to the cemetery say that dogs are not allowed in the nature reserve.

When the Adver visited the cemetery on Tuesday, there were broken syringes, plastic tubes meant to protect sharp needles and water used to dilute drugs.

They were left behind a disused stone building in the southern corner of the cemetery that had been sprayed with the words “F*** off crack fiends” – possibly referring to users of crack cocaine.

One resident said he regularly found needles in a hedged corner in the north of the site.

Writing on Facebook, Swindon Heritage linked the problems with funding cuts faced by the council.

They said: “As local government continues to face funding cuts imposed by central government, it is difficult to know how to tackle these problems.”

The council must save £48million by 2020.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “It is always nice when council colleagues receive praise for their hard work. The cemetery is designated as a local nature reserve so we only cut the grass three times a year but, sadly, we do have to check the site on a weekly basis for discarded needles.

“We would urge anyone who sees drug-related paraphernalia in the cemetery to report it to our Streetsmart team as soon as possible on 01793 445501 and we will send a team out to remove it.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “We would continue to encourage members of our community to report any drug activity in their area. We will always act on information we receive.”

Police can be called on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.