Concern after used condoms discarded near children's play area

Used condoms and even a sex toy have been discovered discarded near a popular children's playground at one of the Hawkesbury's tourist hot spots.

A concerned local resident, whose name is known to the Gazette but who wishes to remain anonymous, has found the condoms regularly behind the Richmond tourist information centre, discovering about 15 in the past month alone.

Hazard: A used condom found in the grass near the children's playground at the Richmond tourist information centre. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Hazard: A used condom found in the grass near the children's playground at the Richmond tourist information centre. Picture: Geoff Jones.

The building is a draw card for tourists wanting to access local information and attend the adjacent cafe or let children play in the nearby playground, and the resident said he has steered many parents away from the back of the building due to the hazard.

"This is a safety issue for children, a little kid could pick them up," he said. "People walk into that area all the time.

"I found a [sex toy] there once and had to throw it out.

"Council should ... put up spot lights or sensor lights and put a sign up saying cameras were in the area 24 hours," he said.

Council's parks and recreation manager, Sean Perry, said it was aware of the problem.

"Council does clean up this area on a regular basis and has found this discarded material," he said. "Whilst there has been a history of anti-social behaviour around the toilet block, when the toilet block was renewed recently, in 2017, it was designed in a way to open up the sight lines with the aim of increasing passive surveillance and reducing anti-social behaviour.

"Council is investigating the installation of a light at the rear of the visitor information centre. Council has also reported the matter to the police, requesting that regular patrols be undertaken of the area.

"Council's park cleaning crew has been provided with the details of the resident's concerns. The inspection and cleaning program at the site has also been increased.

"The management of anti-social behaviour, and rubbish removal, in this and other areas is a priority for council, which is why the matter has been reported to the police, the toilet design changed, council's cleaning program increased and further investigation of design and lighting improvements."

Detective Chief Inspector Paul McHugh said Hawkesbury police had not received any reports of lewd behaviour in the area.

"I would encourage members of the community to report any such behaviour to police," he stated. "There are offences under the Summary Offences Act 1988 such as offensive conduct and obscene exposure which may be relevant in these situations in public places."

The resident said he just wanted the area cleared up.

"I don't care if you want to do what you want to do, but clean up afterwards. Don't leave it there for children."