A HYPODERMIC needle filled with heroin was found by children playing in their Boscombe garden.

The youngsters and their parents live in Argyll Road near a phone box which has become a regular haunt of drug dealers and their clients.

Fortunately the children were careful not to touch the needle or a second empty syringe beside it.

Now their families are warning other residents to be alert for discarded syringes in the area, and are calling for the phone box to be removed or switched to card payment only.

Michelle Dean, 30, whose daughters discovered the needles, said: “I was shocked and absolutely disgusted.

“I'm lucky my children knew not to touch them but what if it had been younger children playing doctors and nurses.

“All the children from this building play out here together and I don't see why they shouldn't be able to play safely in their own garden.”

She said she had had strangers try to break into her flat, even during the night.

“I think the phone box needs to go, it is a meeting and greeting point for druggies and you see them walking around all of the time.”

Neighbour Trevor, 49, said the box - near to a nursing home and a church - should be altered to only accept payment cards so it can still be used for emergency calls.

“I think it is used because it is out of the way, I guess some of them must have been startled by police the other day so they threw the needles over the fence,” he said.

“You can hear the addicts calling the dealers on the phone, and then shouting at each other, kicking the phone box and so on.

“It is a shame because this is a great place to live. The police are here as often as they can be.

“I just want to warn parents in the area to be aware of the danger of their children finding something like this.”

BT spokesman Jason Mann said they had not received any complaints regarding the phone kiosk.

“It is a well-used kiosk and we wouldn't usually remove a payphone which is clearly providing a useful service for the local community.”