Parkour to be banned from Horsham town centre

Free running a could be banned from public spaces in Horsham town centre by the district council this week.

Dedicated Parkour facilities have been set up around the country, but the activity could be banned in public spaces in Horsham town
Dedicated Parkour facilities have been set up around the country, but the activity could be banned in public spaces in Horsham town

A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour, would prohibit drinking alcohol in a public place, anti-social use of vehicles and horse-drawn vehicles, and dog fouling across the district.

Free running, also known as parkour, which involves negotiating between obstacles by climbing or jumping, would be banned in the town centre.

Horsham District Council is due to agree to introduce the PSPO on Wednesday (September 7) in order to ‘address a number of key issues raised by members the Community Safety Partnership’.

Between March 2015 and February 2016 there have been 57 recorded complaints relating to parkour, mainly in Horsham town, with one incident in West Street resulting in more than £36,000 worth of damage.

Meanwhile there have been 125 complaints about anti-social use of vehicles, mainly due to young drivers gathering in groups and ‘performing dangerous manoeuvres’.

These include racing, revving of engines or sounding horns to cause annoyance, stunts, repeated sudden and rapid acceleration, causing an obstruction on the highway including driving in a convoy, playing music loudly, and gathering in groups of two or more vehicle to cause alarm or harassment.

Sussex Police have also received 45 complaints about ‘trotting’, where a pony and trap race each other or conduct time trials along stretches of dual carriageway within the district, mainly on the A24 during weekends.

Prohibitions on alcohol replace the existing Designated Public Place Order approved by HDC in 2013, while the PSPO will succeed the previous designation to prohibit dog fouling made under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 which has been repealed.

Currently there is nothing to address the issue of dogs being kept under control, particularly around livestock.

Anyone breaching the PSPO without a reasonable excuse could be hit with a fine of up to £100.

An officers’ report due to be discussed on Wednesday explains: “Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s qualify of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone.

“They are designed to ensure that law-abiding citizens can enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.”

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