Vandals set fire at £125,000 Stevenage skate park which only opened three weeks ago

Skater Ben White, 27, says the vandalism is an ongoing problem.

Skater Ben White, 27, says the vandalism is an ongoing problem. - Credit: Archant

Vandals have been repeatedly targeting a Stevenage skate park which opened to the public less than a month ago.

Several rubber matts were set on fire.

Several rubber matts were set on fire. - Credit: Archant

On Monday night several rubber mats were set alight at the £125,000 facility in Hampson Park, leaving one end of it blackened and a ramp covered in bits of burnt rubber.

The attack came a week after skaters found the slopes covered in broken glass left by people drinking there the night before.

The blacked skate ramp.

The blacked skate ramp. - Credit: Archant

Ben White, 27, uses the park most weeks and said: “The problem we have got is a lot of people seem incapable of using bins. All the people who come down here after dark are drinking alcohol and making fires.

“It is going to ruin it for everyone – it is here for the kids and they are just screwing it up.

You may also want to watch:

“We hoped that there wasn’t going to be that much trouble here but from the get-go there have been groups of kids coming down making a mess.”

Stevenage Borough Council built the park using money from a government grant after more than 500 people signed a petition asking for another facility to complement the town’s only other skate park at the Bowes Lyon Centre.

Most Read

Its opening last month had attracted a lot of attention from the town’s skating community, who were eager to use the park.

One of these was Chris Hanson, who helped clear the park on Tuesday morning. The 19-year-old said: “You will never stop it. It is something that will keep occurring.”

Leader of the borough council Sharon Taylor said: “The vast majority of young people have enjoyed using the park and this unfortunate incident has been caused by a small minority. Anyone who sees anti-social behaviour happening in the park needs to report it so the police can act.”

Anyone with information should call Herts police on 101 or Crimestopppers 0800 555 111.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter