Police hunt firebug yobs after skatepark damage

Thursday 4th August 2022 6:00 am
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A memorial bench and bin were set alight

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POLICE are hunting yobs who set a memorial bench and a waste bin alight at a town skatepark.

It’s not the first time there have been problems at the Ross-on-Wye site, with other incidents of arson, graffiti, littering and smashed beer bottles all over the ramps.

Police from the town’s Safer Neighbourhood team said on Friday youths were seen running away when firefighters from the town fire station arrived.

Emergency services tackled two deliberate fires in just 24 hours at the skatepark last February, and were called out again to the skate park a week later to attend another fire.

Police posted photos of the damaged 2008 memorial bench and wste bin and appealed to parents asking: “Do you know where your kids are?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the safer neighbourhood team via https://twitter.com/RossonWyeCops

Pland were outlined for a major upgrade of the skate park in 2021, after then town mayor Cllr Daniel Lister met with skaters to see how the town council-owned Wilton Road facility could be transformed.

He said he was looking at ways of funding improvements and consulting with skate park designers and equipment firms.

Dedicated skaters said that if it was upgraded from its current design of metal ramps on a tarmac base, perhaps with lighting as well, it would encourage more use and curb anti-social behaviour.

Proposals included street range equipment, bowls and better half pipe ramps made from concrete rather than metal.

Cllr Lister told the Gazette at the time: ”The skate park has had no big funding since it was put in around 2005 and it’s quite tired, with dated metal fixtures and ramps.

“Skating has moved on since then, with the new mini scooters and BMXs and it would be great to provide town youngsters with a facility that reflects that.

“Many town skaters go to use the parks in Monmouth and Hereford, but we should have one that matches those, that our youngsters want to use.”

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