Po­lice sug­gest park guardian

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Mata­mata Po­lice are sup­port­ing Mata­mata-pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil plans to up­grade the skate park on He­tana St but think there is a need for more su­per­vi­sion.

Sergeant Gra­ham Mcgurk said the area sur­round­ing the skate park, in­clud­ing the Mcdon­alds car park, was a fo­cus for po­lice with re­gard to crime.

‘‘That’s in re­la­tion to var­i­ous rea­sons; Mcdon­alds is open 24 hours and the area is a con­gre­ga­tion point for a lot of young peo­ple,’’ he said.

The most com­mon in­ci­dents were theft, van­dal­ism and lit­ter­ing, said Mr Mcgurk.

Po­lice rec­om­mend that a ‘‘ca­pa­ble guardian’’ be ap­pointed to watch over the skate park when it is most used.

‘‘We make the ef­fort to keep an eye on it but we can’t be there 24/7. Hav­ing some adult su­per­vi­sion there on the week­ends, af­ter school and maybe Fri­day night would cre­ate an area that could be used by ev­ery­body with a de­gree of safety,’’ said Mr Mcgurk.

Some younger chil­dren found us­ing the skate park in­tim­i­dat­ing and would ben­e­fit from hav­ing an adult there, he said.

Chal­lenge owner Dave Har­ris said there needed to be a last­ing so­lu­tion to lit­ter­ing in the area.

‘‘The skate park is a real town as­set. How can we get it clean and keep it clean? I have paid close at­ten­tion of late and although it is cleaned once in a while, within days the prob­lem resur­faces.’’

The skate park’s pro­posed up­grade and ex­ten­sion is a joint ven­ture be­tween the coun­cil and Mata­mata Ro­tary Club.

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