Saturday, February 16, 2008

Skaters and Skate Parks in Danger

We covered this issue before skaters are often lambasted for causing trouble. The reality is skaters want to skate some people won't le them. See our previous posts on skaters.

Floodlight grant gives skaters a brighter future
Spenborough Guardian, UK -Feb 15th

SKATERS in Spen will be able to practise their sport after dark without fear of interference from yobs thanks to a grant for floodlights.
Spen Valley Skate Park on Leeds Road has been granted approval for four floodlights at a maximum cost of £22,800.

Community recreation officer Neil Gamewell appealed to the Spen Valley area committee on Tuesday by showing a film featuring some of the skaters making their case for the floodlights.

The film showed skaters conducting a postal survey, which found that people living close to the skate park were in favour of floodlights being added.

It showed how dangerous skating in the dark could be, and featured skaters complaining about yobs using the site for anti-social behaviour and crime.

They said the skate park gets taken over by gangs of "chavs" after dark, who drink, take drugs and fight.

A report to the area committee said a skip and a fence at the site were set on fire last autumn. It added: "This required the involvement of the police and fire service and has resulted in the need to revisit the issue of lighting and security at the venue.

"Often there are a greater number of non-skaters at the park which can be confrontational with the skaters.

"Young people use the skate park as a venue to meet for fights which at times the skaters can get caught in the middle of."

Floodlights would also improve CCTV coverage at the site, the report said.

Approving the funding, Coun Ann Raistrick (Lib Dem, Liversedge and Gomersal) said: "We have been grappling with what we can do about the kids going down there and creating a bad image."
Skate park fears
Bradford Telegraph Argus, UK - 3 Feb 2008

Young skateboarders are afraid to visit Ilkley skate park because of bullying and drug abuse, it has been claimed.

Town leaders are urging parents to get together and form a group to regularly monitor activities at the East Holmes Field skate park, off New Brook Street, after complaints that many younger skaters dare not visit the park at times.

Year Seven pupils at Ilkley Grammar School have made their fears known to Ilkley parish councillors.

Parish Council chairman, Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen, said parents should know about the problems. The council cannot organise its own patrols of the skate park, but he suggested parents could organise a formal system to monitor the park themselves.

The skate park opened in 2003 after four years of campaigning and planning, and an intensive £52,000 fundraising driver by community group PipeDream. The group, which disbanded after the park was opened, wanted to provide much-needed facilities for young people in the town.

Inspector Darren Minton, of Keighley Police, said bullying and drug abuse had not been reported to officers, to his knowledge, but said police do visit the skate park as part of their routine patrols around Ilkley.

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