Rooftop running censure from town youth group
PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 August 2012
YOUNG people scaling town centre buildings are dicing with death to practise ‘extremely dangerous’ free running, police have warned.
A Weston youth group has also slammed the ‘stupid’ actions of young people who it says are risking serious injury and giving a bad name to real free runners.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary is keen to clamp down youths taking to high buildings to practise the sport, also known as parkour, as the summer holidays begin.
Town centre sergeant Mark Raby said: “There seems to be a growing trend at present of youths running across rooftops in the town, particularly North Street and the Boulevard, which is an extremely dangerous activity.
“With the summer holidays starting I would warn teenagers and parents of the dangers of free running - from serious injury to committing a criminal offence.
“I would urge people involved in the activity to consider their actions as any damage caused to buildings, or any other offences committed will be investigated by police and participants could be arrested and end up with a criminal record.”
Chantelle Williams, aged 19, of Bridge Road-based free running group F.R.E.E. said: “If you ask a normal free runner if they would go up on a roof they would tell you ‘no way, absolutely not’ - it is not people free running, it is people being stupid and putting themselves in danger.
“The media has made it look like it’s free running when it’s people being stupid.
“We were allowed to perform at Tyntesfield House recently, which is a historic house, and that shows we are trusted.
“We do go outside and use the town centre but we only use the areas we are allowed to use and if we are told to move, we move.
“It is a group of people that are using it in the wrong way that are giving a bad name to free running.
“They are putting themselves in danger and they are going to get hurt.”
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