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Skateboarders flee bullies

PUBLISHED: 03:06 22 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 March 2010

FRIGHTENED skateboarders are descending on Ipswich skatepark because they fear bullies will target them in Colchester.

There have been reports that the Ipswich skate park near Stoke Bridge has become a safe haven for Colchester's young skaters, who would rather cross the Essex border to skate than stay in their own town.

FRIGHTENED skateboarders are descending on Ipswich skatepark because they fear bullies will target them in Colchester.

There have been reports that the Ipswich skate park near Stoke Bridge has become a safe haven for Colchester's young skaters, who would rather cross the Essex border to skate than stay in their own town.

And skaters are also coming to the new park in preference to other parks in the region because of the friendly and good-natured atmosphere it offers.

A concerned mother said her teenage son and others have stopped using Colchester's £80,000 park because they are worried about a gang, which is said to go there.

Instead, they get lifts or buses to the Ipswich where the skateboarding area has security cameras and is seen as being much safer.

There have been two serious assaults so far this year at the Colchester park, leaving three boys needing hospital treatment.

The mother, who asked not to be named, said some teenagers were even afraid to wear hooded tops because they believe the gang targets youngsters who do.

She added that one gang of boys regularly visits the park to pick on kids that go there. She has written to the council but been told the skateboard park is not on the list of places being considered for CCTV.

At the Ipswich skate park, one skater, who wished not to be named, said he sympathised with the young Colchester skaters. He said that he was only at the park as he had been pushed away from another park in the region.

He said: "I wouldn't really know about Colchester skaters as I come from Norwich and I'm here just for the skate park as it's really good.

"The one in Norwich is dominated by BMXers so we come down here instead.

It's outside and it's concrete, which is much better, so I understand what it's like to have to travel to skate.

The park in Norwich is indoors, making it very stuffy on hot days and most of the ramps are made of wooden board, not concrete.

Another skater said that at weekends the park was often used by people from outside Ipswich and by those who only come once a week. He added that the more regular skaters used the park on weekdays.

N Police have received a report of how two youths attempted to steal a mobile phone from two young boys after they the skatepark.

The incident happened at approximately 4.14pm on Friday as the two boys walked along Princes Street.

The alleged suspects, who are believed to be aged 16, followed the boys and called them names at they left the skatepark at Stoke Bridge and headed towards the town. A fight is then believed to have taken place and one of the young boys was hit on the neck as the two youths attempted to steal his mobile phone but were unsuccessful.

One of the suspects was said to be on rollerblades, while the other was described as wearing a shirt with a dragon on it.


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