Residents reassured over skatepark

POLICE today reassured worried residents they will be able to keep a close eye on a new skatepark and fears of druggies and vandals occupying the site were unfounded.

POLICE today reassured worried residents they will be able to keep a close eye on a new skatepark and fears of druggies and vandals occupying the site were unfounded.

Officers said wherever Felixstowe's new £120,000 skatepark is eventually built, they will be able to police it because they are working closely with the designers of it.

Sgt Mick Richardson, in charge of the community police team, said there had been no problems at other parks at Leiston and Ipswich - and the schemes had brought positive benefits.

“I am concerned that some residents believe the site will attract drug users and lots of criminal damage to the area. In my mind that is irresponsible as it raises the fear of crime when the statements being made are not based on any fact,” he said.

“I have spoken to colleagues at both Leiston and Ipswich and there have been no problems at either of the skateparks in those towns.

“The police do not decide where the Felixstowe skatepark will be built and it does not matter where the site is because we will be able to police it and ensure there are no problems.

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“We are working with Suffolk Coastal to design out the crime, to make sure we can easily monitor what is happening at the park.

“When it first opens we will police it quite heavily as we would with any new attraction, but as things settle down we will revert to a normal level of policing.”

Sgt Richardson said a number of items would be included in any design to minimise anti-social behaviour, including CCTV cameras, lighting, visibility of the site and easy access for patrols.

“There is no evidence to show that a skatepark would change this, and we are doing all we can to deal with potential problems before it is built,” he added.

Suffolk Coastal is proposing a 20m by 30m skateboarding area below ground level, enclosed on two sides by landscaped bunds and surrounded by a footpath, on Orwell Green, Grange Farm Avenue.

The Cavendish Park Residents' Association has stressed residents are not against a skatepark, but felt Orwell Green was the wrong place for it.

Do you think Orwell Green is the best place for a skatepark? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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