Stevenage police warn against the dangers of parkour

Three young people take part in a parkour demonstration

Three young people take part in a parkour demonstration - Credit: Daniel Wilson

A string of complaints has led to police issuing a warning on the dangers of parkour.

The outdoor acrobatic sport - also known as ‘free-running’ - has been taken up by some young people in Stevenage.

Practitioners undertake improvised obstacle courses in urban areas - climbing, vaulting and running along buildings and other structures.

Anti-social behavioural officer Tara Cooks said: “Parkour is a popular past time for some people and we have seen an increase in the number of people in Stevenage, and coming into the town, to partake in this activity. With the summer holidays starting I would warn teenagers and parents of the dangers of free funning – from serious injury to committing a criminal offence.

“Only last year a local lad was seriously injured after falling from a multi-storey car park, whilst attempting some free running.

“We are not trying to stop people from having fun, but don’t want to see another accident. Also damage is sometimes caused to buildings that are being used and unauthorised access would be considered trespass. The use of the town centre areas is also causing some issues with local residents trying to go about their daily business.

“I would urge people involved in this activity to consider their actions as any damage caused to buildings, or any other offences that are committed will be investigated and participants could end up with a criminal record.”