Kids’ anger at park vandalism

Jamie Hall, 17, on his BMX
Jamie Hall, 17, on his BMX

YOUNGSTERS who regularly use the Gasworx skatepark have spoke of their anger after vandals attacked again.

The facility, near the Moorfield car park, has been dogged by vandals since it first opened in 2008, and now fed-up youngsters are hoping the installation of a CCTV system at the site could help solve the problem.

Fourteen-year-old Lewis Wenn has been using the park since it opened, and supports getting cameras in to monitor the site.

He said: “People come in here just when they are drunk, they aren’t using it to skate. I don’t know who it is but they should stop.”

Tom Thirlwell 14, agreed, saying the vandalism was “pointless”.

Seventeen-year-old Jamie Hall, who uses the park with his BMX bike said: “It is a pain in the neck to see it happening again.

“The bowls and ramps get really slippy where they have been burnt, so it gets more dangerous.

“We get in trouble for taking BMXs on the streets, where else can we go?”

Jake Gilson, 14, uses the park regularly. “I just think it’s really bad that people want to come and mess about because it makes it dangerous and slippy. It’s not anyone who uses the place.

“They are meant to be putting cameras in, which might help.”

Fire crews were called last week after a plastic wheelie bin containing batteries was dragged into the centre of the park and set alight.

The park is currently open around the clock, after gates were repeatedly vandalised and torn down.

Di Bishop, detached youth worker for Bridlington at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, works with youngsters in the town and believes the skatepark is a vital resource.

“You can see the amount of youngsters who enjoy coming here, and they just want to see an end to the trouble and vandalism,” said Di, who is in contact with around 640 young people in the town - most of which have used the skatepark.

“As the evenings get lighter, the park gets fuller. You can see 60 or 70 here at a time and they are all using it as it was intended.

“I think it’s really sad that such a small minority of trouble makers can ruin the park for everyone else.

“I know a lot of the kids here would like to organise competitions with kids in Scarborough, the enthusiasm for it is huge. None of them are causing the damage yet it is them who will suffer.

“We’ve had really positive meetings with the Town Council, and hopefully CCTV can help to put an end to the problems.”

Bridlington mayor, Shelagh Finlay, said: “The Skate Park is very well used by the majority of children and is being spoiled by a very small minority.

“Bridlington Town Council is committed to the site and has ongoing meetings with Police and Youth Workers to try to address issues as they arise.

“The council also has an ongoing maintenance and repair schedule and CCTV will be installed in the near future. We hope that the people responsible for trying to destroy the site will stop ruining this fabulous free facility.”

Bridlington Town Council are hoping to have the CCTV installed after the Easter Holidays, after encountering problems with the electricity supply.