Vandalism bill at skate park soars to £10,000

Bill Martin is worried about the future of the park due to the constant vandalism.
Bill Martin is worried about the future of the park due to the constant vandalism.

The new £250,000 skate park in Magna Street, Motherwell, has suffered £10,000 worth of vandalism before it has even been officially opened.

North Motherwell Community Partnership Forum developed the park after local teenagers approached the chairman Bill Martin with a 155-signature petition.

It attracted funding of £175,000 from Big Lottery Scotland and WREN and a contribution of £73,900 from North Lanarkshire Council including Motherwell Local Area Partnership.

Construction of the facility was completed in early July, despite heavy construction equipment itself being vandalised in May, and it has proven very popular with local children, young people and families.

However, regular occurrences of vandalism and anti-social behaviour are threatening the facility’s very existence as, although it is a small minority of people causing problems and damaging the play equipment, Mr Martin is worried about the future.

He said: “A lot of people have put a lot of work into making this play and skate park happen and there is overwhelming community support.

“Local people, young and old, have been telling me it’s what’s been needed in the area for years.

“It’s really worrying that children, in particular, and their families may lose this wonderful community facility because of the actions of a few – it’s so disappointing because it was the children who decided what should go into the park.”

So far the police have issued 30 parental alert letters as the council invested in additional CCTV.

Inspector Alistair Anderson said: “We are working closely with our partners with regards to this issue and I have ensured that there are extra police patrols in the area.

“The damage and destruction caused to this facility is disgraceful and reflects badly on a small part of the community and I would urge the whole community to identify those responsible.

“This can be done in a number of ways, either through contacting Police Scotland directly on 101 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively you could speak directly to members of your community policing team who are based at Motherwell Police Office.”

Local regeneration manager Michele Battersby added: “In addition to the extra police patrols the Community Safety Sub Group will be installing dedicated CCTV at this site to assist with the identification of those responsible for this malicious damage.

“We would urge local residens to help us to keep your community safe by providing any information that helps identify those people involved in damaging your new facilities.”