Park axed as vandals strike

PUBLISHED: 13:21 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The scene at the skatepark.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The scene at the skatepark.

MINDLESS hooligans have robbed Littleport youngsters of their £40,000 skatepark. For months they repeatedly vandalised the park, tearing down the fences and smashing up the wooden structure. Now parish councillors have said enough is enough for fear tha

MINDLESS hooligans have robbed Littleport youngsters of their £40,000 skatepark.

For months they repeatedly vandalised the park, tearing down the fences and smashing up the wooden structure.

Now parish councillors have said 'enough is enough' for fear that the structure posed a health and safety risk.

On Friday, workmen were called in and they dismantled the ramps, leaving just the concrete bowl in place. It is hoped the skate park can be moved to another site in the village but no decision has been taken yet on its long-term future.

Littleport parish and district councillor Fred Brown said: "Vandals were setting fires underneath the structure and smashing off the handrails. They were kicking down the panels and leaving bottles and broken glass there.

"We warned them that if they didn't look after it we would close it. But every time we repaired it they smashed it all to pieces."

The skate park was erected just over two years ago and financed with grant aid and parish council cash.

Last September police, with the help of local residents, arrested four youths on suspicion of damaging the park. A file was sent to the crown prosecution service but it ruled there was insufficient evidence.

Littleport parish and district councillor Andy Wright said: "The parish council was very reluctant to take the structure down but it came to the point where we had to protect people. We felt we did not have an endless supply of money to put it right."

Ely Police Sector Commander Inspector Adam Gallop said: "Since arrests were made there have been very few problems at the skate park. We have Police Community Support Officers in the village every day and residents in the immediate vicinity of the skate park have a good relationship with them. We also have a good relationship with the parish council.

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