Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bones Skatepark in Bolton burnt/ Skater beaten

A closed skatepark has been burnt down arson is involved. Who is responsible? There is some debate about who is responsible. Although it seems some skaters (foolishly) had been breaking into the park to skate they would not have burned down a place they loved. As one comment on the story said:

Does everyone really think that skaters have done this?? Why would they burn down the only good skate facility? Its all the little kids that wear their Nike track suites and tuck their socks into the pants that have done this. everyone needs to open their eyes to the amount of inbred youths in Bolton and stop blaming people who role about on a skateboard
Those skaters involved in breaking in certainly hold some responsibility perhaps they broke doors or windows which were later used by the arsonists to gain entry or their use of the park attracted attention to it. Yet their wider points are valid. An examination of the history of the park reveals it collapsed as a commercial venture in September 2006 due to persistent vandalism from local youths not skaters:
The final blow came earlier this month when vandals trashed the premises, ripping out water pipes, tearing doors off hinges and smashing hi-fi equipment.
An earlier report Vandals killing skaters' fun park show the level of the problem:

"But we started running into problems when attendance dropped off because customers were being frightened off by gangs of youths stealing their mobiles, cash, skateboards. There's also only so many times you can replace a smashed window."

The former owner and local skaters were persecuted and attacked. Now the park is closed an intelligent guess would blame the same local group of vandals for burning what was left. Indeed looking at details of the situation in Bolton reveals some interesting information.

Local skaters who were banned from the town centre organised a campaign in early 2007 to get a new park built. See the petition here. The council actually not only listened to them but together they managed to get a skatepark set up in central Bolton which opened in August this year. A crucial part of selecting this site was that it had CCTV cover hopefully this would deter further vandalism. Yet the park was rapidly targeted by vandals who broke in a daubed it with graffiti.

Meanwhile on October 6th a teenage skater elsewhere in Bolton suffered a vicious attack:

A TEENAGER had his ankle broken in several places during a vicious attack at a skatepark.

Detectives believe onlookers may have filmed the 14-year-old being beaten on their mobile phones, as he was attacked at the park off Blindsill Road, New Bury.

An argument among a group of up to 20 youths had turned violent and the youngster was knocked to the ground before being punched and kicked to the body. He is understood to have suffered the break when he was stamped on.

At the moment the motivation of the attack is unclear, but it is certainly a situation to watch.

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