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Warning to Guildford firms ahead of parkour teen death memorial

Businesses have been warned about free-runners taking to rooftops during an event to remember a rising star in the urban sport of parkour.

Nye Frankie Newman, 17, from Aldershot in Hampshire, died in an accident on the Paris Metro on New Year’s Day.

He was a member of the Brewman parkour group, which has organised a memorial event in Guildford, Surrey, next month.

The borough council and police said businesses should “take reasonable measures to prevent rooftop access”.

The Brewman parkour group is holding the “remembrance jam” on 4 March for his friends to “get together and train for the day”.

“His birthday was on 1 March so we thought we’d base the event around that,” it said.

Mr Newman’s videos showed him running over rooftops.

A joint statement from the council and police said: “There is a good possibility that following the large gathering a number of Parkour free-runners may attempt to take to the roofs of Guildford town’s businesses and take part in free-running activities.

“It is the responsibility of each individual business to take reasonable measures to prevent rooftop access.

“This is to mitigate any culpable liability should an injury or serious event take place following a trespass.”

A business partnership called Experience Guildford has also emailed its members to warn of a “good possibility” some of the mourners will “take to roofs”.

However, Parkour UK said the warnings were misinformed and an over-reaction.

Eugene Minogue, chief executive, said parkour and free-running were like any other sport, and it was not a criminal, illegal or inappropriate activity.

“There is no sporting rationale for anybody to be on a rooftop to practise parkour.

“It is just common misperception about the sporting activity,” he said.

“We’ve got very clear information, advice and guidance – if someone is on a roof, then they shouldn’t be doing that.

“If people are doing something that is possibly anti-social, illegal, and/or criminal – that’s exactly what it is. It’s not parkour.”

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