25 April 2008
Caerphilly Skate Park, near Caerphilly Leisure Centre has been given an impressive makeover, thanks to the work of the local Youth Offending Service.
Several youngsters from the local area, some of whom are involved with the Youth Offending Service, recently took part in a project entitled, "Don't spray it to say it", which was funded by the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership. The project's primary aim was to discourage illegal graffiti, which in recent times has tended to blight many of our communities.
In addition, the project also sought to educate and inform the youngsters that there are in fact, ways in which they are able to carry out their hobby legally, whereby no public or private property is defaced as a result of illegal graffiti.
The scheme organisers as a consequence, set about seeking permission and locating areas in which the local youngsters could practise their hobby, legally.
Youth Offending Officer, Gary Meale said, "Following the immense success of the "Don't spray it to say it" initiative where the youngsters learned that illegal graffiti is a criminal offence and the effects that their actions had on the wider community, they were eager to pursue their hobby further, under supervision and in a completely legal way. We approached Caerphilly Leisure Centre for their opinions on overhauling the skate park, and we were given the go-ahead."
In addition, the Youth Offending Service have been involved significantly with ongoing reparation work in the area, which has included litter picking and painting.
Caerphilly Leisure Centre's Manager, John Poyner said of the project, "I am extremely impressed by the effective multi agency working between Caerphilly council, the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, Gwent Police and the local Youth Offending Service in giving the skate park such a fantastic makeover. These improvements will help to ensure that the skate park remains attractive for both current and aspiring skateboarders, and to reinforce this, it is hoped that we will be organising a skateboarding event in the very near future, with details to follow shortly."
The park, which was part funded by the Sports Council for Wales and is run by Caerphilly County Borough Council's Park Services, is considered by many to be one of the best-accessed skate parks in the county borough, and has diverted large numbers of skaters away from Caerphilly town centre and surrounding areas, resulting in a real decrease in anti-social behaviour in these areas.
Community Safety Manager, Howard Rees said, "This makeover was so important to the skate park facility because of the marked decrease in anti social behaviour in Caerphilly town centre and surrounding areas. It is such a popular youth facility in our local area and in addition to attracting skaters from Caerphilly, the skate park also attracts many youths from Machen and Bedwas, diverting the skaters from these villages too."
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