Residents in Niddrie have expressed outrage after a community activist said the area was overrun with heroin addicts who “look like zombies”.
Speaking to a national paper, the activist also said drugs were to blame for the area’s high crime rate, which is nearly 70 per cent above the national average.
He said: “There are areas where there’s a huge amount of drug taking and there are people walking about half doped out of their face.
“It’s horrible to see and quite scary and frightening — especially when they are looking after children. What hope have they got when they are walking about doped up with a couple of kids?
“You wouldn’t want to walk about there in the dark. They come out at night. They look like zombies. They don’t have the same values and they are not interested in looking after their property.
“Their whole motivation every day is to get their hands on drugs.”
The comments have been challenged by furious residents on social media.
Posting on Facebook, Stephanie Hamilton said: “I’ve lived here my whole life - most nights I can walk through and not see anyone. Yes there are junkies here but everywhere has good and bad.”
Julie Suttie said: “I work in Niddrie and walk to work every day and never felt unsafe even in the dark.”
And Jill Brooks said: “I have lived in the area for many years and although, like many other areas, there are people with drug problems, I have never been scared to walk around at night or been frightened of ‘zombies’.
“Many of the people that live in Niddrie are very community-minded and would do anything to help others in need.
“I have seen the area grow from strength to strength over the years and it’s articles like this that do nothing to shake off the bad name that Niddrie has been tarred with.”
She added: “Take a walk through Morningside and the Royal Mile and I can guarantee that the you will see drug addicts there too.”