THESE are the shocking images showing the blight of drugs on Glasgow's streets - right in the heart of the city.

This lane sits next to Marks and Spencers and Boots on Renfrew Street but is used as an outdoor shooting gallery.

Near to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Glasgow School of Art, the area is busy with shoppers, students and workers.

But littering the private lane are needles and other drug items, empty alcohol bottles and rubbish.

It is also clear the lane is being used as a toilet.

The Evening Times spoke to passersby in the area who expressed shock at the city's secret shame.

And they believe the scene makes clear the need for a safe injecting space in Glasgow, as is currently being planned with cross-party support.

Neil Smith, 25, said: "I think it is a joke seeing drug use and paraphernalia on the streets.

"I would support a safe space because of this to take drug use off of the streets."

Bar worker Joe Matthews added: "People who take drugs are not going to stop so having a safe space wont stop people taking drugs but I think it is a good thing.

"There has to be the proper support channels there as well as properly educating people in the first place."

The lane is the responsibility of a private owner not connected to Boots or Marks and Spencer.

Glasgow City Council said the owner should clean up the lane but after a call from the Evening Times, council workers attended to the area.

Matt Mullen, a labourer, from Motherwell, said: "I think a safe space is a good idea. Drug addicts have a horrible stigma attached to them.

"Other countries have brought in measures to prevent drug abuse and we should do the same for the benefit of the majority of people."

Local councillor Mhairi Hunter has backed the call for a injecting facility, a centre where users can take drugs bought on the street to consume under supervision.

She said: "Evaluations of safer drug consumption facilities worldwide have shown they help reduce public injecting and the consequent discard of needles and other drug paraphernalia.

"We anticipate a safer injecting facility in Glasgow will have the same effect of reducing public injecting, needle discards and associated anti-social behaviour in and around the city centre."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “This lane is private property and its maintenance is the responsibility of the owners.

“However, due to the obvious concern created by discarded needles, our staff have visited the site and disposed of the needles appropriately as well as dealing with the discarded waste.

“Addressing the impact of drug-related litter is a key part of the proposal to open a safer drug consumption facility and heroin assisted treatment programme in Glasgow.

“Allowing those affected by addiction to inject drugs in a controlled setting would help to ensure that used needles are discarded safely and immediately.”