Praise for Sidmouth skaters who purged park of litter and broken glass

PUBLISHED: 12:06 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:06 21 October 2014

A group of Sidmouth skate park users have been praised for taking it upon themselves to tidy up the facility. Ref shs 7101-42-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A group of Sidmouth skate park users have been praised for taking it upon themselves to tidy up the facility. Ref shs 7101-42-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A group of Sidmouth skaters have been commended by police for clearing a park that was left in ‘a complete mess’.

Luke Warriner, 19, and friends use the skate park in Manstone Lane every day and, when they found it strewn with debris and smashed glass, the group tackled the job of cleaning the rubbish themselves.

Their actions were noted by PCSO Steven Blanchford-Cox, who was on foot patrol at the time and has praised the skaters’ initiative.

“Empty bottles and cans, sweet wrappers, crisp packets, even broken glass, were strewn about the place. It was a complete mess,” said PCSO Blanchford-Cox.

“The following day I was on foot patrol again and attended the skate park. In contrast to the previous day, the skate park was immaculate, clean as a whistle.”

He spoke to four youngsters, Nathan Pearce, Toby Perry, Ed Hills and Luke, who explained they were concerned about the litter, so decided to do something about it.

In response, PCSO Blanchford-Cox has issued a message on behalf of Sidmouth Police neighbourhood team and all users of the skate park, thanking the boys.

The skaters say this is not the first time they have been forced to clean the site.

“Pretty much every Monday, we have to clean up before we can use the park,” said skater George Irish, 17.

The boys explained the skate park often became littered with debris over the weekend.

Luke said: “The worst thing was the glass everywhere - I got a puncture on that.” He added that he also feared someone would get hurt on the glass.

The group says it is worried that, with the closure of Sidmouth’s youth centre, people will be more likely to cluster around the skate park, possibly causing more mess.

An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokesman said the area was cleaned by a team five days a week. “We welcome the community-spirited actions of any young people who want to supplement this work with their own efforts,” he said.

“Where there is persistent littering, clearing the mess is only one half of the problem. The other half is encouraging those who drop litter on the ground to put it in the bins provided.”


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