Ramping up the response
A SKATEpark which will be officially opened in two weeks has already been vandalised. The site at Walsworth Common in Hitchin will be formally opened on October 24. This will be done in conjunction with an official ceremony at the town s King George V rec
A SKATEpark which will be officially opened in two weeks has already been vandalised.
The site at Walsworth Common in Hitchin will be formally opened on October 24. This will be done in conjunction with an official ceremony at the town's King George V recreation ground where another skatepark has also been built.
However graffiti has already been painted over the ramps, tarmac has been dug up and the skatepark sign has been ripped out of the ground and thrown into the nearby river.
One nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said: "It's ridiculous that this has taken place already, it's not even been open that long.
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"It's a real shame because it's been built for the use of local youngsters, who have waited quite a while for it. Hopefully the council will sort it out soon and keep an eye on the area."
Despite the vandalism the park is still being used by youngsters who are happy that it has finally been built.
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One 14-year-old said: "We first started asking for one when the Biggleswade skatepark got built. People are feeling relieved that after so many years of waiting we finally have two.
"Vandalism is unavoidable unless it's monitored 24/7 which it's not but that's just life."
Hitchin Walsworth councillor Derek Sheard said it was not surprising that the site has been damaged.
He said: "It's something new for kids to play with and hopefully it will die away. It's a type of territorial marking I suppose.
"As long as the council clean it away on a regular basis, which they have said they will do, then it shouldn't be too bad."
North Hertfordshire District Council plans to get rid of the graffiti before the official opening on October 24. It also intends to get paint from the people who made the ramps and will continue to repaint the ramps when necessary.
They have already dealt with the tarmac which was damaged at Walsworth Common.
A spokesman said: "The community development team at NHDC has a good working relationship with the young people who designed and use the skateparks.
"They are very pleased with the new facilities, which are being well used. The minority who do the damage are not skaters.