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Parents urged to warn children over risks of parkour

The roof of Barclays Bank. Picture: Mecha Morton.
The roof of Barclays Bank. Picture: Mecha Morton.

Youths could be risking their lives by climbing across rooftops in Diss town centre in an activity known as parkour.

Several reports have been made to police about daredevil youths gathering in the car park behind Diss Town Council’s offices on Market Hill before climbing up the rear of the building.

They then run across the roof tops as far as Barclays Bank, from which there is a severe drop.

Pc Jim Squires, South Norfolk community engagement officer, said: “There have been a number of reports of youths climbing on the roofs of buildings within the town centre.

“Though it is believed there is no criminal intent, these youths could be practising the activity of parkour, commonly known as free running.

“We would like to make people aware of the obvious risks around climbing on buildings, along with the issues of damage being caused when jumping from surface to surface.

“I would also ask parents to explain this to their children if they believe they are fans of such activities."

Parkour, also known as free running has become a worldwide phenomenon within the last few years and became recognised as an official sport in the UK last year.

It is defined as the discipline of moving freely over and through any terrain using only the body, with a series of leaps, swings and moves adopted from gymnastics.

Youths are also understood to be carrying out the practice on the rails of the Mere boardwalk, where light damage has occurred.

Pc Squires believes the craze may have been inspired by the James Bond film, Casino Royale, which was shown on TV over Christmas and which features a famous parkour chase scene.

One eye witness said she had seen youths also riding bikes along the rails of the boardwalk.

Police say they would be willing to support the youths in establishing a parkour park if there is enough interest.

‘If there are a number of young people interested in this activity I would be happy to assist them in trying to set up an official site. Contact me on 101," added Pc Squires.

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