A CHARITY is urging people who may have problems with drugs and need help to contact it.

The Bridge Project, based in Manningham Lane, Bradford, helps drug addicts in the city to beat their addictions and get their lives back on track.

It also offers help with employment, education and developing skills to help former addicts to get back into normal life.

This plea follows the problems reported in yesterday's Telegraph & Argus, where drug addicts were pictured 'shooting up' - injecting themselves with drugs - in people's gardens in an area close to University of Bradford after being driven out of the city centre by the police's zero tolerance crackdown on drug use in the city centre.

Jon Royle, chief executive of The Bridge Project, urged anyone in Bradford who thinks they have a problem with drugs to contact the Bridge Project, where they will be able to receive treatment within seven days.

He said: "All our clients receive an individually tailored treatment plan delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, health care workers, specialist drugs workers and volunteer peer mentors.

"Our goal is to help users become drug free and then we give them help to get back into employment, training or education for example through a work placement at our social enterprise Forks Cafe.

"While injecting heroin use continues to be the main presenting problem we are seeing a year-on-year reduction in the numbers of problem drug users in Bradford with more people coming through treatment and recovering and less young people starting to use drugs in the first place.

"The scale of Bradford's drug problem is similar to that of most other large cities in the country and Bridge works closely with our strategic partners to address the issues of prevention, treatment, enforcement and community safety.

"When we become aware of street drug use such as that depicted in the T&A we try to identify the individuals involved, who are generally not accessing services.

"Outreach workers then target these people to help them get the services they need such as housing and drug treatment that can stabilise their lives."

West Yorkshire Police said the area highlighted by the T&A yesterday had since been cleaned up and a metal gate installed to restrict access.

A spokesman said: "Police in Bradford West have been working with Bradford Council and other partners to tackle issues involving drug abuse in the area.

"The partnership has regularly met residents and ward councillors since late September last year, when a walkabout highlighted environmental health concerns which were addressed with a community clean-up in early October.

"In late October, concerns were raised with the Bradford West team regarding discarded drug needles in the Spring Place area. These were again acted upon and only two needles were collected from the area in the following two weeks.

"There has also been an ongoing police operation in the area, as well as regular patrols by officers in uniform and plain clothes.

"On March 21, residents attended a meeting at Lawcroft House Police Station, where they were updated on the work of the partnership to date. This included clean-ups of uninhabited properties and their back yards in Spring Place, Grantham Road and Pemberton Drive.

"Landlords have been made aware of this action and will be served with notices and fines should there be repeated problems.

"Agencies have also engaged with the users - offering them support to treat their addictions, as well as help with housing and other needs.

"Police and partners are committed to tackling these issues and would urge anyone with concerns to raise them with the team, either by calling 101 or by emailing bradfordwestnt@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk."

One resident, who asked not to be named because of concerns for his safety, said: "Cleaning up the area is not the issue here, cleaning up one garden will not make the problem go away.

"No-one took any notice of the situation and it's been going on for about a year, we spoke to the police, the council and our MP about it and it's taken this long to get any notice of the situation.

"All we are asking for is more surveillance, not just putting up gates, and for the police to actually tackle the issue rather than just moving it elsewhere."

Naz Shah, Labour MP for Bradford West, said: "We are looking at setting up a residents' association and a neighbourhood watch scheme in that area, and the police and council are working on getting this in place."

The Bridge Project can be contacted on 01274 723863.