British skaters flick yobs

IF the historic English market town of Dorchester is a bellwether, Fremantle’s proposed skate plaza could become a crime-fighter in its own right.

Bobbies in the town were over the moon after reports of anti-social behaviour fell by 19 per cent in the year after the park’s construction in 2009. Around the park itself, which is situated near the train station in Dorchester’s CBD, they fell to 33 per cent.

Local police commander Les Fry says the trend of improving behaviour appears to be more than a flash-in-the pan.

“The park is the place to go, either to take part or just to sit and watch. The young people are extremely good at policing it themselves, looking after the younger and less experienced park users,” Insp Fry said.

Dorchester, which also boasts a historic grassy mound (known as the Maumbury Rings it was constructed around 2500bc), splashed out just $300,000 on its skate park. Local skaters spent 12 years lobbying the Dorchester town council and raised $60,000 of the construction costs through raffles, selling skating gear and making appeals at local fairs.

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