Fringe Box



Warning Of ‘Free Runners’ On Guildford Town Rooftops

Published on: 12 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 19 Feb, 2017

A warning has been given to Guildford businesses about an advertised meeting of free runners taking to the roof tops in the town centre. Free running is a version of “parkour” that often uses streetscapes as obstacle courses, as demonstrated in the YouTube clip below.

In a notice from Experience Guildford Business Crime Reduction Partnership business owners and managers are asked, “to take reasonable measures to prevent rooftop access”.

The notice reads: “We would like to give all businesses in Guildford town, advance notice of the possibility of free runners taking to the rooftops on March 4th 2017. This is in response to an advertised event by Parkour groups who intend to gather in Guildford town on this day.

“The event created on social media which has recorded considerable numbers attending to celebrate the loss of one of their prominent members earlier this year.”

As widely reported, 17-year-old Nye Frankie Newman, said to be from Guildford, died on the Paris Metro in January. Video emerged of members of his group “train surfing” or riding on train roofs, however it was claimed that that was not how the 17-year-old met his death. He was said to have been killed when leaning out of a train window.

Guildford Borough Council and Surrey Police have offered the following advice for business operators: “There is a good possibility that following the large gathering a number of parkour free runners may attempt to take to the roofs of Guildford towns businesses and take part in free running activities.

“It is the responsibility of each individual business to take reasonable measures to prevent rooftop access. This is to mitigate any culpable liability should an injury or serious event take place following a trespass.”

Those who would like further advice or information regarding the event or what measures should be taken please are asked to contact Stuart Craggs,  Experience Guildford Night Time & Business Crime Reduction manager at: stuart@experienceguildford  or 01483 452163 or 07711 408139.

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Responses to Warning Of ‘Free Runners’ On Guildford Town Rooftops

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    February 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Having watched the first video above, I must say that I am greatly impressed with the acrobatics of the young man featured and I see no particular problem with his actions.

    However, as so often seems to be the case, there is a certain sub group within the free runner / parkour sporting community that seek to push the limits of their activity to the extreme, by trespassing on private property and in some cases, such as when on railway property, committing a criminal offence. It is, for very good reasons of safety, a criminal offence to trespass on any part of the railway network in this country and I suspect the same may well apply overseas.

    Also, when I worked in various London boroughs, most of them had specific bylaws in place that typically made it an offence to climb on, or over, any fence, wall, railing, building, or other structure, owned or maintained by the local authority. This was also an offence, dealt with in the Magistrate’s Court. I would expect that similar bylaws may well apply to Guildford Borough and Surrey County Council properties.

    I do find it somewhat galling, that the business and property owners may be liable for injuries sustained, should someone uninvited and unlawfully be on their property, carrying out an unlawful act by their own choice, heedless of safety considerations and carrying out an activity that may well cause hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds worth of damage.

    I hope that the police, council and other authorities do their best to discourage this event.

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