Parkour and Free Running are to be banned in Horsham, a small market town about half way between London and Brighton. A Public Spaces Protection Order – a legal mechanism usually used to stop children called Shane from drinking on the streets, and their older siblings, also called Shane, from racing cars around Morrison’s car park – has been used to prevent people from flipping and twisting off walls.
Horsham Council has issued the order to, as it says, “address a number of key issues raised by members of the Community Safety Partnership.” which sounds like the kind of cabal of curtain-twitchers that would have had Orwell reaching for his angriest biro.
Reports suggest that, between March 2015, and February 2016, there have been 57 recorded complaints relating to Parkour and Free Running, most of which have happened in Horsham town centre.
Horsham is somewhat of a Parkour hotspot in the UK, thanks to the many low-roofed buildings, and architecture around the town centre – ideal terrain for Free Runners to practice their manoeuvres on. However, complaints of broken roof tiles from residents in the town have lead to the council taking action against the Free Runners