Swindon AdvertiserActivities halted at damaged skate site (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Activities halted at damaged skate site

Swindon Advertiser: The notice on the gate of the skate park The notice on the gate of the skate park

SKATEBOARDERS are disappointed after Haydonleigh Skate Park was closed following suspected vandalism.

Wiltshire Police are investigating the incident, which has seen a ramp’s metal plate pried upwards, making it unsafe for skaters. Haydon Wick Parish Council closed the facility on Thursday and repair work should be carried out on Monday, when it can then reopen again.

Councillor Oliver Donachie (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “It is really disappointing, I’ve been in contact with the police who said it could be vandalism. If it is then all I can say is that it is a completely mindless action.

“Unfortunatley, it is the same old story time and time again where a facility used by so many gets damaged by the minority. If this is vandalism, I hope whoever did it is caught and dealt with severely.”

Terry Powell, Haydon Wick Parish Council clerk, said the organisation was keen to get the repair work done as quickly as possible.

He added: “This could well have been vandalism or just general wear and tear, perhaps one of the skaters has knocked it while they were using it. Either way, for the safety of our users we had to close it as soon as possible to make sure nobody got hurt. I’m not aware of anyone complaining about the closure as I think users appreciate it is for a safety reason.

“Thankfully, it is not an expensive thing to fix and the repairs shouldn’t take too long. The incident was reported to our PCSO and we’ve asked the police to keep an eye out for anyone trying to climb in and use the skate park while it is closed. Also, we’ve asked if they can step up patrols when it reopens to ensure no vandalism is going on.”

Users of the skate park are disappointed by its temporary closure, but understand the reason why.

Luke Prout, who works at extreme sports shop ATB and has previously used the skate park with friends, said: “It is a great facility for the community and it is disappointing that this has happened. The sad thing is that the people that vandalise these skate parks aren’t the ones who use them. So they don’t really care what happens to them, but this spoils it for those who do appreciate them.”

Diana Kirk, ATB co-owner, said that the centre has had children, who are unable to currently go to Haydonleigh, using their skate facilities.

She added: “The riders and skaters over there are slightly younger and love using the facilities. They are upset and there’s no way they’d purposely damage their own equipment. It must be others that are not involved but watching on who are doing this.”

Anyone with information about the damage can call 101 or details can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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