Skatepark shame

PUBLISHED: 11:40 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 07:14 30 May 2010

Some of the smashed bottles at the skate park Picture: SUBMITTED

Some of the smashed bottles at the skate park Picture: SUBMITTED

BROKEN alcohol bottles and drug wraps have been found strewn across Dunmow s skatepark. Town council groundsman Keith Wheatcroft made the discovery on Monday morning following reports of youths drinking and smoking at the site last week. After spending ne

BROKEN alcohol bottles and drug wraps have been found strewn across Dunmow's skatepark.

Town council groundsman Keith Wheatcroft made the discovery on Monday morning following reports of youths drinking and smoking at the site last week.

After spending nearly three hours clearing away the broken glass, he said: "It was the worst I had seen for five years. The whole park was strewn with the litter and there were several drug wraps just left lying around."

Deputy town clerk, David Green, is charged by town councillors to oversee public areas, including the skatepark. He said: "We do not think it is the skaters themselves. They seem to use the facility for the right reasons.

"It is teenagers who just use the park as a hangout and sit there drinking beer and smoking weed. Everyone at the council is very angry. A lot of time, effort and money has been put into that facility."

The park has recently undergone a £60,000 refurbishment to make it ready for the summer, while a further £3000 is due to be spent on installing an extra ramp to complete the circuit.

Mr Green said that the council had informed the police of the incident, which should be high on the agenda for the next police neighbourhood action panel meeting next month.

Dunmow police has made stopping drug and alcohol abuse one of its top priorities and a spokesman said the force is committed to providing a high visibility presence at Dunmow youth club, where reports have swept in about teenagers intimidating members.

The spokesman said: "These teenagers are not youth club members but they hang around outside, drinking alcohol. There is also a suggestion that they are smoking and dealing cannabis."

WHAT do you think? E-mail us at nick.thompson@archant.co.uk

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