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Multi Purpose Sports Court.

Stamfords’ Recreation Ground could soon have a new facility to cater for the towns’ youth who want to play ball games without organisational interference.

Following the erection of the skateboard park on Stamfords’ Recreation Ground, it has been suggested that a large proportion of Stamfords’ youth have been excluded from the sporting facility, simply because they do not follow the skateboard fashion. Local Compact and Crime Prevention Panel member, Mary Patrick says, “Many young people spoken to still wish to pursue sport as a recreation but do not necessarily accept organisational team games. Several commented on ‘ball parks’ that they had seen elsewhere and reasonably asked the question “Why can’t we have one?”.

With that comment in mind members of Stamford Compact organisation met with Stamford & District Crime Prevention Panel and agreed, under a sub committee Stamford Multi-purpose Sports Court (SMSC), to look into the matter, which they believe fits into the area of Crime and Disorder reduction.

The project has been discussed at length and following consultation with SKDC, an agreeable site would be one of the current under used hard court tennis courts on the Recreation Ground, directly adjacent to the skateboard park. The surface of this court is ideal for the sports court as it is already classed as a safe surface and will save an enormous cost to the project.

The Multi Purpose Sports Court is the type of play area that consists of mini goal posts and basketball/netball hoops and would be properly fenced with special material that deadens the sound of balls being kicked against it, but would allow the towns young people to engage in ball games without being part of an organised group. Both SKDC and town councillors have shown support for this project.

Crime Prevention Panel Chairman Peter Dykes adds, “Evidence from other parts of the country show that these types of multi-court areas have substantially reduced anti-social behaviour of local youths, giving them a focal point in which to show some ownership and pride”. He continued “Parents will in turn have the opportunity to take their children, to a specific purpose built area, where they can teach their own children, ball games, many of which are the backbone of the Countries national games. In a time when we read report after report about how in-active our children are, the town deserves to have a purpose built area to allow interest in some sporting activity to develop. It must be stressed that the Multi-use court facility would be open to all ages thus providing the Stamford and surrounding area, an ‘all weather sports facility’ for everyone to enjoy – regardless of the weather conditions”

The Multi Purpose Sports Court will cost in the region of £30,000 with various grants being applied for over the forthcoming months. The aim it to seek funding away from the council authority, thus would not be funded by residence council tax.

Stamford Crime Reduction Officer Pc Reg Burrell commented “We are all aware of various acts of vandalism that have taken place on the Recreation Ground, with damage to the bandstand, the children’s play equipment and the bowling green to name just a few. Additionally residents have complained about youths, behaving anti-socially, congregating on the top Rec in the evenings. The Multi Purpose Sports Court will be an ideal diversionary facility; however, we recognise the need to monitor not only the sports court but all the other areas of the Recreation Ground as well. To that end, part of the sports court project is to include a further CCTV camera, which would be positioned near to the skateboard park and cover all areas of the Recreation Ground. This camera would be a continuation of the coverage from North Street car park and would be monitored 24/7 from the control room at Grantham, where operators could directly inform police officers of any problems. As a safety factor for this part of the town we feel it is long overdue. The team involved in putting this project together would publicly like to say a big thank you to the trustees of the Skells Trust, who recently granted £9000.00 towards the cost of this CCTV camera. Their generosity means half of the funds for the camera have been found in one go”

Stamford Community Beat Officer, Pc Tracey Price has been discussing the idea with local schools and says that Stamford youths are impressed that the town is considering their needs and giving them somewhere to call their own. “We know there will be lots of reservation about the Multi Use Sports Court attracting the wrong people and bringing noise and anti-social behaviour to the area, but with the area monitored by CCTV, proper equipment that deadens the sound and a bit of faith in our young people, this facility will be an asset for Stamford”.

The Multi Use Court is in its early stages in relation to funding and discussion with various bodies, including nearby residents. The SMSC committee welcomes comments on the project, which should be directed in writing, to the Chairman c/o Stamford Police Station.

For more advice on Crime Reduction visit the Official UK Crime Reduction Home web page at:

www.crimereduction.org.uk


If you want to get more involved and you would like further advice or information please email the Stamford and District Crime Prevention Panel:

cpp@stamford.co.uk
(this mail box is checked periodically by the panel members)

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