Police offer for parkour youngsters
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.”
William Anton demonstrates parkour or free running