Lights to go on at skate park

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pLANS have been drawn up to help deal with skateboarding youths annoying residents in Belper.

Police and community safety officials have teamed up to tackle the issue by installing temporary lighting at the town’s skate park.

The idea is to allow youths to congregate there instead of near homes where they have been causing problems.

Fed-up residents have been reporting anti-social incidents to the police – including youths skateboarding near homes close to Green Lane car park after dark.

The lighting will be switched on at the skate park on Belper Meadows every Monday, from February 28, between 7pm and 9pm for five weeks.

The pilot project has been set up to see if making night-time use of the skate park has a positive effect on cutting calls about anti-social behaviour.

The issue was raised at an Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership meeting and it was decided that one possible way of preventing problems would be to provide lighting at the skate park. Consequently, Derbyshire County Council’s Youth Services has agreed to provide temporary lighting.

Sgt Richard Booth, of Belper safer neighbourhood team, said: “If it does have a positive effect, then we will work with the community safety partnership and other partners to try to identify sources of funding to provide lighting on a more permanent basis.”

The partnerhip’s Vicki England said: “Lighting at the park is what young people have told us they want and residents complain about skateboarding in public areas at night, so it should prove mutually beneficial.”