Pave­ment-pounders get the push in Sierra Leone

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Free­town, Sierra Leone - Street jog­ging with your chums is a sport en­joyed by mil­lions around the world - but not by po­lice in Sierra Leone, who have just out­lawed the prac­tice.

To the dis­may of fun-run­ners, po­lice in the west African state have banned group jog­ging in the street on the grounds that it en­cour­ages dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour.

"Po­lice head­quar­ters has ob­served with dis­may that peo­ple are in the habit of jog­ging in large num­bers along the streets with a hint of men­ace, rain­ing in­sults, ob­struct­ing traf­fic, pound­ing on ve­hi­cles, play­ing loud mu­sic, and snatch­ing prop­erty from other mem­bers of the pub­lic," the po­lice an­nounced.

Their let­ter, dated July 27, said an "im­me­di­ate ban on such ac­tiv­i­ties" was be­ing en­forced "in line with the con­sti­tu­tional con­sid­er­a­tion for pub­lic or­der and safety".

The an­nounce­ment caused a groan among some in the cap­i­tal of Free­town.

TV celebrity Amadu La­ma­rana Bah said, “Armed rob­bery and gang vi­o­lence in com­mu­ni­ties should be your con­cern not those harm­less youths who ex­er­cise on week­ends."

The po­lice let­ter said "in­di­vid­u­als de­sir­ing to jog for health rea­son" were "at lib­erty to do so, but at recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties or at the beach."

But, it added, "any group of per­sons now found jog­ging in the streets with­out autho­ri­sa­tion will be dealt with ac­cord­ing to law. You have been warned."

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