Reward offered after Southwater skate park vandalism

JPCT 040913 S13370010x John west, Radii Ramps, Southwater Skate Park. Vandalism -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 040913 S13370010x John west, Radii Ramps, Southwater Skate Park. Vandalism -photo by Steve Cobb

A reward of £500 was offered for information leading to the conviction of the people responsible for around £4,000 of damage to Southwater Skate Park last week.

Southwater Parish Council, which holds the lease on the skate park on the edge of the country park, has had to cancel the Skate Jam which was scheduled for this Saturday after vandals causes ‘mindless criminal damage’.

It is appealing for witnesses to the crime last Tuesday September 3, while the community safety partnership is offering a £500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the persons responsible.

The council has agreed to fund the £4,000 needed to pay for repairs but the ongoing future of the skate park will be debated at a meeting on Wednesday September 25.

A spokesperson for the parish council said: “We all have worked so hard with the district council and our sponsors to put on this skate jam, and are so disappointed that mindless criminal damage has forced us to cancel it. We have had to fence off the ramp for health and safety reasons, so it is now closed until further notice.”

Rob Steele, owner of Radii Skatepark Repairs, said the skate park would be fenced off until temporary repairs were finished in the next week. He will return in October to install a permanent handrail.

Mr Steele, who lives in Essex, is a BMX rider and travels to Southwater to use the ramp. He was keen to emphasise that he believed users of the skate park were not responsible for the damage.

He praised the council and said it was a pleasure to work for an authority that not only wanted to keep the facility open, but improve it.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “This is a case of mindless vandalism which has caused a significant amount of damage to an area which is well used by a number of people.

“Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting serial 0722 of 04/09.”