Po­lice of­fer for park­our youngsters

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion - by Sarah Mar­shall smar­shall@thek­m­group.co.uk

THE po­lice want to give Ash­ford’s “traceurs”, the young peo­ple who prac­tise park­our around the town, a voice.

A month ago there was a lack of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the po­lice and park­our youngsters, now of­fi­cers want to hear from the teenagers and help them.

The youth crime re­duc­tion of­fi­cer for Ash­ford says she will lis­ten, take their views to the coun­cil and is sug­gest­ing start­ing a youth fo­rum.

The pro­posed meet­ing fol­lows an in­ci­dent last month when three youths were dealt with by po­lice af­ter per­form­ing danger­ous stunts on the Ed­in­burgh Road multi-storey car park.Teenagers who train in the ac­tiv­ity, which in­volves run­ning and jump­ing over and be­tween ob­sta­cles, re­sponded say­ing park­our is safe and demon­strated their skills (see videos and slideshow at www. ken­tish­ex­press.co.uk).

PC Clair Nor­man said: “As the youth crime re­duc­tion of­fi­cer for the Ash­ford area I have taken a great in­ter­est in the re­cent news cov­er­age in re­la­tion to young peo­ple un­der­tak­ing free run­ning or park­our in Ash­ford.

“I un­der­stand that the young peo­ple feel very pas­sion­ately about this but there are con­cerns about their safety.

“In light of this I have at­tended the Sk8­side cen­tre and spo­ken to the worker re­gard­ing the young peo­ple hav­ing a voice re­gard­ing this and other is­sues re­lat­ing to the skate park and sur­round­ing area.

“We are or­gan­is­ing a meet­ing at Sk8­side on March 24 from 4 to 6pm. This meet­ing will be for any­one who goes to the skate park, uses the grounds around the Stour Cen­tre or is in­volved with free run­ning.

“From this meet­ing we will be ask­ing to speak with the Stour Cen­tre and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to put the young peo­ple’s views to them.

“If this is suc­cess­ful, I am propos­ing that we set up a youth fo­rum for this area, so they are able to put their views across on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne PD1543493

William An­ton demon­strates park­our or free run­ning

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