Tougher security for skate parks
SKATE parks will be bolstered with more security and possible around-the-clock CCTV surveillance systems.
A Townsville City Council review has found safety at the often troubled youth hangouts to be lacking.
Announcing the plan at yesterday’s Community Safety and Health Committee meeting, chairman Dale Last said the cameras would add to an increase in security patrols.
Cr Last said the increased security measures at skate parks would be added during school holidays and other peak periods to curb anti-social behaviour.
‘ ‘ T h e r e v i e w ( o f s a f e t y measures at Townsville’s four skate park facilities) looked at existing measures we have at skate parks and those of other councils to see how we can improve safety in light of antisocial behaviour that comes from time to time,’’ Cr Last said.
‘‘ The challenge we’ve got is to convince young people that the skate parks are for their use and causing trouble or damaging the facilities is dumb and unacceptable to the broader community.
‘‘ Security patrols and surveillance are essential, but on their own won’t be the entire solution. Having a stronger security presence at the skate parks when there are a lot of young people around makes good sense but I think it’s important that we also continue to lobby for government funding to install CCTV at all of our skate parks.’’
The skate parks are located at Pioneer Park at Riverway, Murr a y S p o r t P r e c i n c t , P e g g y Banfield Park and Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island.
Riverway’s facility is already covered by CCTV.
Peggy Banfield Park at Bushland Beach, which cost ratepayers more than $ 640,000 to create, has been a constant target for vandals, with thugs ripping out trees, spraying graffiti, destroying lights and irrigation and repeatedly throwing rubbish all over the facility since it opened two years ago.
‘‘ In most cases the trouble is caused by people who don’t use the skate parks,’’ Cr Last said.
‘‘ The review found that having a broader strategy including more security patrols during holidays and high-usage times is an effective way to deal with the problem.
‘‘ Obviously we want to make skate parks a safe place for young people to gather and enjoy activities.’’
Teens using Peggy Banfield Park last year didn’t seem concerned about the piles of rubbish strewn around the park.
They said there was only one bin, which was too far from where they liked to sit.
At least one bin was set alight during one of numerous vandal attacks on the park since it was built.