A YORK mum said it is unacceptable her children have found a discarded needle while playing and have witnessed people collapsed or urinating in the street.

Mum-of-four Rosy Casimir, of Union Terrace, is leading an appeal for action to make the area a better place to live.

Miss Casimir claimed the street had been troubled by anti-social behaviour since the Arc Light shelter was opened and has demanded action from City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police and York Hospital to tackle the situation.

She has also warned the opening of a licensed Sainsbury's shop in Groves Chapel in Clarence Street will result in more anti-social behaviour.

Miss Casimir said in a presentation to local authority and service leaders: "York Council decided against all opposition and logic to place Arc Light in the centre of a populated area and they have washed their hands of the consequences.

"I had to go to court with my ten and 14-year-old as a local vagrant tried to urinate in front of my family, opposite my home and when told not to, verbally abused myself and my children horrendously. He was found guilty. He got community service.

"Two weeks ago my children were looking for a tennis ball and found a needle. This is dangerous. This is unacceptable. This is a huge litigious case waiting to happen.

"The state of Union Terrace, if neglected, will worsen. We need to be protected from harm. We demand your protection and action, today. This area is a ticking time bomb. It needs action."

She has asked York council for the street to be smartened up with more regular litter collections, better lighting and a street sign. A permanent police presence at Arc Light, CCTV on Union Terrace, and twice daily needle collections from the site are all necessary, she said. The NHS is asked to smarten up the area around Union Chapel and the collapsed property of 93 Union Terrace - which is owned by NHS Property Services - and has been left boarded up.

Jeremy Jones, chief executive of Arc Light, said: "Our ongoing close co-operation with the police and York council continues to address any issues brought to our attention, including when there is no evidence of our own residents having being involved.

"We remain grateful to the many members of our community who recognise the work that we and our partners do to support those facing complex issues, particularly at this time of the year.”

Jane Mowat, head of community safety a York council, said many of the issues flagged up had already been addressed. She said the alcohol exclusion zone covering Union Terrace was under review.

She said: “Officers have regularly met various partners and residents and have been liaising with private landlords in the area too. The council’s CCTV network is primarily for traffic management and the camera referred to was at this location before Arc Light was built, in the same way that a police presence has long operated in the area as it does in others which report nuisance."

A York Hospital spokeswoman said: “The residents of Union Terrace have raised their concerns with the Trust and we have met with them recently. We have addressed all their concerns promptly.”